My 5-second Money Saving Trick

This one budget tip has saved me hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars! Money saving tricks don't get much easier than this! Click through and start using it today! >>


This money saving trick is possibly head-smacklingly obvious BUT I’M GOING TO TELL YOU ANYWAY. One person’s ‘obvious’ is another person’s ‘you’re blowing my mind!’

So here it is: The money-saving trick that has saved me from thousands of dollars of regrettable purchases. When you see something you want to buy but don’t necessarily need … Think about how much you'd be willing to pay for it before you look at the price tag. Click To Tweet

There are many times when I’ve thought “$7” and turned over a price tag that read “$35.”  But occasionally you’ll find things you’d pay hundreds of dollars for that only cost twenty bucks!
Photo by Marion Michele on Unsplash

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  1. And Kathleen

    I became obsessed with fiber art while in Palm Springs last fall. I was shopping in a row of mid-century modern consignment shops when I saw a small piece of fiber art that I would have paid $100 for – I was expecting the price to be triple that. I looked at the tag and was shocked to see it was only $25.

    Best part! It totally matches my hair.

    • Sarah

      I love that it matches your hair, that cracked me up!

  2. Rosiecat

    Cute idea for a post series! I think the idea you suggest is why thrift shopping is so darn satisfying–so much good stuff for so very little money.

    Happy shopping, all! 🙂

  3. Lianne

    oh I love this – Great idea and looking forward to the rest of these series!

  4. Daniela

    This is so useful 🙂 Also, when I find something that I want because it's *so cute* or unusual/whatever, sometimes I find my need for it can be satisfied by snapping a picture on my phone. That way I can still look back through my photos & smile at how cute it is/how cool I am for finding it at whatever random store (especially on travels) but don't have to actually pay for or have it.

  5. SarahE

    I like the series idea! Definitely on par with my life goals at their core: happier, simpler, more available resources.

    When I'm shopping, I definitely have price points in mind, particularly when it comes to clothes. Knowing how often things go on clearance, or how cheap thrift/consignment can be, it's almost impossible for me to pay full price for something.

    Daniela brings up a good point, too. I'm trying to do better at disassociating "That's gorgeous!" with "I want it!" so that I just appreciate an object for existing- it doesn't necessarily need to exist in my apartment.

  6. Mel

    Yesterday afternoon I was in need of some pampering after a stressful week of caregiving. I asked ye olde Google to recommend a good nail place nearby and went in for a pedicure. Didn't ask for pricing or anything; I just needed to relax and have someone else make my toes presentable. In my head, I was mentally calculating how much I could afford for a tip if the pedi was $30 or $35 or $40. It turned out to be a $19 pedi from a woman who recognized that I needed quiet, not jabbering. I gave her a $15 tip. Totally worth it.

    • Tess Graham

      Wow, isn't that great, and imagine how much you made her day too! Happy story. And very cool idea for a series!

  7. Rachelia

    Ohhh I love this idea for a series! Looking forward to you sharing your wisdom with us 🙂

    I really like this tip and it is a really great idea. I also try and think of prices in terms of how many hours I'd have to work to be able to afford something. At minimum wage, is a $60 top REALLY worth 6 hours of my time, etc?

  8. besimplyfree

    I'm going to go ahead and echo everyone else's sentiment – wonderful idea for a new series, Sarah! Even more reasons to love Yes and Yes. I recently just started a blog about the exact same concept.

  9. Sarah

    Love the idea!

    Also – Totally love when something that seems super pricey is in my price range. I feel like I've won big!

  10. jaybeesworld

    Ooh… this is going to be an AWESOME series! I love the first tip, too!

  11. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Agreed! I’m a cheapskate, so this trick works beautifully. Once you realize new stuff at retail shops is overpriced, buying secondhand or buying nothing altogether becomes much easier.

    It’s also important for me to realize that the item won’t really contribute anything to my life and will just derail my savings goals. So now I delay purchases for a few days to make sure it’s something I actually need.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Yes! And then when/if you DO buy it, it feels sooooo good! I thought about buying a $10 mug from Anthropologie for a week, but now I have it and it brightens my day every time I use it!

  12. Steven Goodwin

    nice and simple and to the point! What a great thing to do! I bet it really allows you to learn the value of stuff from your own vantage point that way! I’ll definitely have to try that out!

  13. Jacob Merkley

    Light bulb just went off in my head! I just bought something that I definitely shouldn’t have. Of course I budgeted for that item…but still! Thanks for the insight.

  14. Jennifer

    I even do this when shopping in the thrift store! It works!

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Yes! I find it most helpful at a thrift store because it’s so easy to think “Oh, it’s cheap! I should buy it!”

  15. Kurt

    You’re so right that “One person’s ‘obvious’ is another person’s ‘you’re blowing my mind!’” Took me way too long to learn that!

    I like your trick. May not work for all, but it’s definitely worth trying out!

  16. Xyz from Financial Path.

    Love this tip! I often do this unconsciously now, it has saved me a ton!

  17. Khalisah Levy

    Can I have a work book

  18. Gina Popejoy

    Love this idea!

  19. Miss Balance

    I do this too! I say a cool looking toaster on the ‘sale’ table the other day and thought to myself if this toaster is less than $35 I’ll consider it. It was $90! It was very easy to walk away from that purchase.

  20. Heidi

    This is how I purchased a “sunrise alarm clock”. I was willing to pay $50 (I’m feeling pretty desperate about the impending winter), and I found one for about $25. Deciding what I was willing to pay meant I didn’t have to second-guess the purchase later.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      The sunrise alarm clocks are life-changing!

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