Using Coupons: The Equivalent of Making $100 an Hour

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By contrast, the average American worker—one who is lucky enough to actually be working, of course—pulls in something like $20 an hour.

A WSJ writer does the math, considering that the average coupon saves $1.44:

Saving $1.44 for a minute’s effort is the equivalent of saving $14.40 for 10 minutes’.

Hourly rate: $86.40….

Furthermore, money saved comes with an additional benefit. Unlike the money you earn at work, it is tax free. No payroll taxes. No federal or state income tax.

If your marginal tax rate were, say, 20 percent, you would have to earn $108 before tax to take home $86.40. If your marginal tax rate were 30 percent, you’d have to earn $123.

Very few of us ever do this kind of math, because we tend to treat low finance differently from high finance, and small sums differently from big ones. No wonder, even today, 99 percent of coupons are thrown away unused.

Moral: Take a minute to save even a little bit. It adds up to more than you think.

Another minor task that can add up to significant savings: Make a habit of shopping around and calling up the services that you pay for each month to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal. One hour’s work can easily add up to $200 saved over the course of a year.

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