During my drive in to this work this morning the radio hosts mentioned that a study had just been done that found that less then 2% of coupons are ever redeemed. The reason they gave for this was that most people perceive coupon users as being cheap. Now, I am a coupon user and I have been for several years now. I personally don’t care if other people think that I’m cheap. When I look at how much I am saving it makes it all worthwhile. This whole concept of people worrying about how strangers perceive them and not wanting to look cheap amazes me. This is exactly the kind of attitude that got us into the financial crisis the country is in now. So many people worry about looking successful and having all the trappings of the good life. They don’t seem to realize that buying that “stuff” on credit today means you will be paying a lot more for it in the future. Eventually you have to pay the piper and so many families are now unable to do that.
This reminds me of a conversation I had earlier this year. I was outside talking with one of the kids in the neighborhood when another neighbor’s girlfriend pulled up in a BMW. The kid commented that it was a really nice car and that she must have a lot of money. My response to him was that the car you drive has absolutely no reflection on the amount of money she has. There are millionaires out there driving old clunkers and there are plenty of people out there driving luxury cars and hiding them from the repo man. You just really don’t know. He was amazed to hear me say this and I could tell from the look on his face that he had never even thought about that. I can only hope that what I said sunk in. It was definitely something that he needed to hear. Heck, there are a lot of adults out there that need to hear this too.