Details Matter When You’re Frugal

Being frugal requires a strong attention to detail. Small things can add up in big ways to benefit or hurt a financial goal. I was recently reminded of this by happenstance.

 SF Parking Meters are not all the same price. ..I currently work nights in San Francisco, which means it’s best for me to drive into work and bear the expense. Part of that expense is parking. Although I am a self proclaimed parking witch, (I can almost always find convenient and sometimes free parking) I am resigned to pay for a metered parking spot near my place of work. 

Luckily, I found, meters are only required till 6 PM, which means at most, I pay for three and a half hours a day. At $3 an hour, this makes my daily parking less than $15 for an 8 hour shift. Almost unheard of in the City by the Bay. So, it would seem that I’m winning on this front.

I found out I can do better.

The other day there was no parking on the street I normally park on. After circling a couple of times I managed to find a spot just around the corner on another street. It was maybe a matter of 40 feet more of a walk. When I went to pay the meter though, I realized that the rate on that street is a dollar less an hour. To some it may not be that big of a difference. But, to a frugal fanatic like myself, I had to stop and do the math.

By parking around the corner I save up to $3.50 a day or $17.50 a week. That’s about a half a tank of gas. Multiply it by 4.2 weeks per month and now we’re talking $73.50. The way I shop, that’s almost two weeks of groceries. Now multiply that by 12, and I will save $882 over the course of a year. That’s a new tech gadget, or a few more kitchen knives, or maybe even a vacation if I do it right. 

Makes that extra 40 feet well worth it in my book. A lot can be accomplished by simply paying attention, and now I’m kinda kicking myself for not figuring this one out sooner, but hey, lesson learned. And now, lesson shared. 

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