Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Rich get Savings and the Poor get Bupkis

Just returned from a weekend in Yosemite with my husband (celebrating 20 years of marriage thank you very much!) so I'm tired and will keep this brief but lately I've just been noticing how many ways you can save money if you have it, but not if you don't. What set me off was noticing that you can buy an annual pass to Yosemite for $40 twice the one time entry fee)--it's a great deal, but if you're choosing between food and a pass on a given day, you'd pay the one time fee and buy the food.

Other examples abound, if you can afford to pay off your credit cards every month, you can get frequent flier miles and dollars back. If you can afford to become a member of the co-op, you can get your 10% discounts. If you fly enough, you can get free trips. The list goes on and on.

Of course the grand-daddy of all rich get richer schemes are tax deductions which benefit people in the top tax brackets way more than the people at the bottom.

I've noticed that some people with money avoid taking advantage of these little savings, feeling, I guess, that having so many dollars it is beneath them to watch the pennies. But studies show that people with money who keep money over decades are immensely careful with every penny.

I'll never forget when I worked in coalition in Washington, DC with a bunch of discount kings, self-made men who created successful discount furniture, clothing and other retail stores. When I would go out to lunch with these guys, they would haggle with the waitress over the price of cottage cheese and not one of them would offer to pick up the check. It would always be the trial lawyers, notorious for losing their money as quickly as they win it.

P.S. "Bupkis" is Yiddish for goat droppings.

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