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Don’t Work Hard to Save Very Little

It’s no secret I’m a fan of Kim Palmer, my biased review of her book Generation Earn [3] is probably proof enough (though Trent also praised her book in his review [4]), but her latest list [5] of money saving tips, culled from fellow bloggers, has some horrible and dangerous suggestions.

For example, turning off your car while it’s still moving is dangerous. The idea is that you can use your car’s momentum to slide into parking spots or when you’re going downhill, saving a few drops of gasoline in the process. The dangerous part, which Kim notes, is that you have no power brakes and no power steering. What she doesn’t mention is the fact that if you try this while going downhill, you’ll have to spend time and attention restarting your car. Is it really worth the risk? I say no.

There are so many things any one person can do to save money (just take a peek of my list of 100 Money Saving Tips [6] if you need ideas) that you should do the ones that have the biggest impact.

Reusing sandwich bags can save you $30 a year, cutting back on cable [7] can save you $30 a month… and requires less work. Taking cold showers can save you a few dollars a month on energy bills, whereas brown bagging your lunch can save you a few dollars every single day.

I think it’s important to save money, in any form, but it’s even more important to maximize your savings by first tackling the ideas that have greatest impact.