Two college roommates walked into a local grocery store. Both students came out with enough food to feed them for a week. One paid $15. The other paid $50. Thinking it to be a fluke, they shopped together again the next week. Splitting up at the door they went their separate ways and came back together at the cash register. Again they found that the first paid $15 and the second $45. Yet, they both had enough food to make it through the week. It led them to question how there could be such a disparity between bills in one store, when the result was almost the same. The answer came out to be that one refused to budge on a budget, while the other refused to budge on a lifestyle.
The first realized that he had limited resources to work with but still needed to feed himself for the remainder of the week. He found the items on sale and created meals from them. Cheap tortillas, baked beans in a can and sour cream were all on sale at the same time. It was easy enough to add lettuce, tomatoes and cheese to the mix to make tacos for lunches and dinners. These ingredients served to be the base of the rest of his meals too.
The second student didn’t care about budget so much as he cared about his stomach. He let his stomach bring him to familiar aisles with tasty foods that turned out to be expensive. His own hunger drove him to those items, which resulted in a higher bill at the end of the day.
Often times we think that our means are insufficient to sustain life, when in reality, it’s just our lifestyle that is too grandiose. The first student paid 70% than the first student did because he was more worried about feeding himself than eating what he wanted. At the end of the year, that’s a difference of $1,700. When you lower your lifestyle, you can afford so much more. Imagine what even a dollar two reduction of a weekly bill do for you over the course of a year.