May 25, 2016

Do Sweat the Small Stuff: Because small amounts add up to big money

It's good to focus on the big picture, and keep the end goal in mind. That's true about many things, including your personal finances.

But it's also true that little things matter, and that when it comes to your budget, small amounts can make a big difference. They might be so small that you never notice them, but if you add them up over time, they can become huge.

Sweat the Small Stuff: Because small amounts add up to big money | Chief Family Officer

Two of my favorite examples of this are actually fundraisers at our school. One is Box Tops for Education, which is a program by General Mills. Certain General Mills products carry Box Tops, which you can cut out and turn in at school. Each Box Top is worth ten cents. Each year, our school earns over $1,000 from these little ten-cent pieces, and sometimes two or three times that. That breaks down to 10,000 Box Tops per $1,000!

Another fundraiser we do is a coin drive. Each student is asked to bring in loose change, with a target of $1 per student. Those quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies add up to several thousand dollars each year.

Finally, here's a non-fundraiser example: I've been a Pampers Rewards member for years. At first, I accumulated points quickly because I was constantly buying diapers and wipes, but these days, almost all of my points come exclusively from free codes that they put out. (I share those codes here whenever I find live ones!) Each code is usually worth 5 to 10 points, although occasionally a code might be worth as much as 100 points. Yet somehow I accumulate several hundred points each year - enough to redeem for one or two FREE Shutterfly calendars at the end of each year, which saves me money on holiday gifts.

The lesson here is that you should sweat the small stuff, at least when it comes to your personal finances!

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