Just how do you become a bargain hunter?
- A personal story. To illustrate how to become a pro bargain hunter, let me tell you a story of a friend of mine who would meet the criteria.
Now at the time, my own situation was that I was running a business and also had a part-time job. It was pre-2008 and money was not a problem. My business was doing well, and I was splashing the cash left, right and center.
With the part-time job, it was well worth it, as by doing it I became entitled to an additional tax credit which otherwise I would have lost. As part of the job, I had to attend the job at two different points of the day.
So, between the job, the business and a bit of a social life, there was no time for you know what - cooking.
I splashed out on breakfast, lunch and dinner, nearly every day! As well as plenty of Caffe Latte's.
2005 rolled into 2006, which changed into 2007, and then morphed into ... 2008.
Ummm...that's a problem year. As the recession kicked in, so did higher tax rates and I was in a bit of a bind.
Now let me introduce me to my friend - let's call him Barry. I would meet Barry on and off with a group of mutual friends.
Barry had a different situation to me. He had some health problems and was on disability allowance, which is a social protection payment, and is quite small. But he had social housing for which he would pay a small rent, and a part-time job.
He could see me making problems for myself. He would say "Alan all these Caffe Latte's...all these meals out...". Then he told me how much money he'd saved.
He'd managed to squirrel away $120,000!
The emotion I felt: not jealousy, though I do get that. It was pure amazement that Barry had managed to save so much. It was the wakeup call I needed.
Now Barry was obsessive about getting bargains. I remember onetime there was a special offer going on wineglasses. I qualified for this offer and left the supermarket with a box of six tumbler glasses. We got back and then disaster - Barry noticed a chip in one the glasses. It was quite late at this point, but Barry marched back to the supermarket.
I thought "well no big deal" and left it at that. But Barry was having none of it.
At 2am I get a knock on the door
"Here you go Alan!"...and he hands me another box of six tumbler glasses. He'd given out so much to the manager, that she just gave up and gave him a new set up glasses. So now I am overloaded with glasses!
And that my friends is the mentality of a true bargain hunter.
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