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July 19, 2013

WOLFSIE: How to save a buck

My wife is always leaving me lists ripped out of magazines or printed from the Internet. She puts them on my desk chair, or in the bathroom, or as a placemat at the dinner table. The last one she planted was the “25 Best Restaurants in Indianapolis.” I looked it over and we have not been to 12 of them. The other 13 we’ve never even heard of.

The newest list I have been subjected to is AARP’s fourth annual Great Ways to Save Money. For those who don’t want to wade through the 99-item list or who can’t find their bifocals, the editors summarize their findings this way: “The key to saving is spending less.” Not exactly a groundbreaking concept, but more insightful than their recent mall-walking article with advice on how to improve your time circling the shopping center by moving your legs faster, stopping less to shop, and not taking a nap on a bench.

Lists of anything bore me. Google will point you to 100 Ways to Invest your Money; 100 Ways to Make a Burger; or 100 Ways to Pass the Science Regents Exam. But, search for “List of 101 Ways” to do something and you get 101 Ways to Murder Your Boss, Impale a Zombie, or Cook Worms. Much better reading. Trust me.

Mary Ellen thinks we could save big bucks if I just followed a few dozen of AARP’s hints. No. 1 on the list actually cost me real money. It suggests getting only 50-dollar bills from the bank because people will be less likely to spend them. I did try this, but the clerks at stores kept making change for me, and that kinda ruined everything. The few 50s I did save ended up in the washer and dryer, like all my pocket money does, so instead of destroying several one dollar bills, I now have three 50s the size of Monopoly money.

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