Easiest ways to save money...plan first

The easiest ways to save money on any purchase is just common sense... do your homework first.

Now I will admit that it helps to have a frugal wife ...OK, it's essential... who am I trying to kid?

Our frugal lifestyle has become a way of life since we were married in 1975.

We have watched our money carefully through times of plenty and the lean times... it is without a doubt what enabled us to retire early in 1994.

It has become a way of life for us, it is very simple, and we will show you every step of our purchasing process... you can do this too.

Easiest ways to save money? do your homework first

The words instant gratification are not in our vocabulary and you should eliminate them from your vocabulary as well.

The feeling of buying something and knowing that you did not overpay a penny is a big part of learning how to live cheaply.

I will give you an example of a  recent purchase.

Our car has over 280,000 miles on the odometer... and the check engine light comes on intermittently.

We discovered that unless this light is blinking you are perfectly safe to continue driving.

On our last trip to the repair shop, the light was reset, but we were told that we would need a sensor replaced that cost $1215.

Our first step in any process is to go online and research the problem, the start of the easiest ways to save money... We discovered that this is a common problem and that all mechanics use a very simple diagnostic tool called an OBD2 scanner. You can turn off the check engine light in about 15 seconds.

After 30 minutes of research, I ended up at this page on Amazon.

For $35 I purchased one of these code scanners... Every household should have one at this price... It is very simple to use, and after 15 minutes, I started to research the codes that were displayed.

To sum up, after about 15 minutes, I had saved myself $1200... A prime example of rejecting instant gratification and doing your homework first.

No car should be without one of these...it is common sense.

Remember mechanics are not God, nor are Drs for that matter, take control of your life and be careful whose advice you take.

When I first realized my spending habits were going to change

While we were still dating, we were in Macy's in San Francisco... I grabbed a household gadget and headed for the checkout stand... My bride-to-be informed me that she could get it much cheaper elsewhere... I started to insist, tears ensued, I put the gadget back and had learned a hard lesson in spending.

Do your homework first, it's one of the easiest ways to save money... Benefit from my mistake.

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