I was reading Daniel’s post, Why Squeezing Every Last Penny Out of Savings Accounts Isn’t Worth It, and completely agreed with his sentiment. He ended the post by asking “Readers, have you ever been so intent on saving money that you forgot to take a look at the big picture?” Oh boy, have I ever.
I overanalyze money on a regular basis and very often have to kick myself in the butt. I don’t have the specific problem he described in the post since our two checking accounts always have $1000 in padding, but I have given myself several headaches over inconsequential things before.
The first one that comes to mind is couponing. I’m not an extreme coupon clipper, but I do cut out the ones for whichever items we will most probably use. When I first started this, I’d spend an hour or two a week making the ultimate shopping plan to save about $5 biweekly by only buying certain things at certain stores at certain times.
I have since heard of the Grocery Game, which seems way easier than what I was doing since they simply give you all the info, but I have given up. I rather spend the extra $10 a month than worry about the extra 50 cents I could have saved on Hershey’s Syrup if I went to Wal-Mart last week instead of Kroger on my way home from work. I have decided to err on the side of my sanity.
Rewards Cards Benefits
Another tiny money matter I worry about way too much is our rewards credit cards. I have actually stood in line to return an item simply because I accidentally used the “wrong” credit card to buy it. Our Discover More card gives us an extra one year warranty on electronics, but I bought our backup hard drive with the PenFed Visa instead in a moment of lapsed concentration. I then waited for 20 minutes to return and rebuy the dumb drive just so I could get that extra warranty time.
Maybe it will matter and maybe it won’t, but I still feel silly.
Rewards Cards Cash Back
I also feel pretty dumb about the times I have freaked out when my husband used the “wrong” card for buying gas. He sometimes uses the Discover to pay for gas (1% cash back usually) instead of the PenFed Visa (5% cash back on gas all the time). He just forgets and swipes.
Will it kill us not to get the extra $1 in cash back? Nope, not at all. It will probably not change our life in any significant way. I am working hard not to act like a crazy person over that anymore.
Have you ever missed the big picture? Any funny stories out there?