"Of mortals there is no one who is happy. If wealth flows in upon one, one may be perhaps luckier than one's neighbor, but still not happy." - Euripedes

Everyday Common Sense & Patience Will Save Money

By , June 29th, 2010 | 7 Comments »

Sometimes, common sense escapes even the most intelligent of people. We all make fundamental assumptions. Drawers should slide open and slide closed. Doors should behave in a similar fashion. When they do not, something very primitive and entirely irrational possesses all too many of us. We devolve to the level of the beasts and try to use brute force to close the uncooperative drawer or door.

Taking a step back, we would realize that something might be blocking the kitchen drawer or the door to the garage. Rational minds would then move to clear the obstruction. I have finally learned that, but only after a number of less than wonderful moments in which brute force resulted in something breaking, from rulers in my kitchen drawer to rakes that had fallen behind my garage door. There is no way we can defeat the laws of physics but we can try to work with them. Here are a few suggestions:

Don’t Force Anything Open: As described above, if a drawer or door is blocked, you are far more likely to break the thing that is causing the blockage or the drawer or door itself if you try to use force to open it. Never force anything open. Doors, drawers, dishwashers – anything that can be opened can also be blocked from opening. Take the time to unblock whatever it is you are trying to open.

Turn Right to Make it Tight: Most screws tighten to the right and loosen to the left. Always remember that and try not to further tighten a screw by “opening” it to the left. If you do encounter a screw that tightens to the left, make a note of it in case you ever have to loosen it later on.

Don’t Lift from the Waist:If you have to pick something up off the ground, whether heavy or light, bend from the knees. If you bend from the waist, you are asking for a back problem.

Don’t Lift Unless Your Feet are Level: If you try to pick something up when your feet are not level, you are also asking for a back problem. Check your feet and then bend your knees.

Don’t Strain to Pull or Push: The other day I was moving a treadmill. I was on a smooth walkway when suddenly the treadmill would not move any further. I did not try to force the treadmill. Rather I set it upright and checked the wheels. Sure enough, I had caught a branch from a shrub. Had I continued pulling, I would have uprooted the shrub and incurred my wife’s wrath!

Don’t Ignore Unusually Sounds If your car starts making a strange sound or an appliance is grinding when it should not, either check out the problem if you know what you are doing or find someone who does. You cannot make a problem go away by ignoring it.

Don’t Ignore Strange Sounds When You Walk: If you are clicking when your feet hit the ground, you may have a stone or piece of glass in the sole of your shoe. That can stone or piece of glass can damage floors. Take a moment to remove it.

Always Knock: Unless you can be one hundred percent certain that no one is behind a door, always knock before you open a door and even then, open the door slowly. You never know what might be behind the door.

What other common sense decisions do you try to bring to the basic actions of daily life? What do you hear, see or experience that alerts you to be cautious?

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  • Ann says:

    My big one is that, if that little voice tells you in the back of your head that something is probably not a good idea, don’t do it! Learned this one the hard way, when I didn’t and lost most of 3 fingers in my jointer — thank goodness it was my left hand and I’m right-handed and my thumb and forefinger weren’t affected! This holds true for working with tools or walking to your car alone late at night in a dark parking lot.

    Another one is to always do your safety stuff (like goggles or gloves or hearing protection or safety apron, etc.) even when you’re just going to do “one little thing.” I’ve sliced myself but good more than once when I didn’t put on my kevlar glove and I can’t even count the times that something has flown up and hit my goggles… which don’t cost a lot to get with a prescription, btw, if you wear glasses.

    The final thing is, if you have any kind of physical limitations or it’s just very hot or very cold out, force yourself to only work for 1/2 to 1 hour (or whatever), take a break, re-evaluate the situation at the end of the break and go back and do more or stop, if that little voice is telling you to.

  • Common Sense? says:

    I dunno, am I missing something here? Has this article anything at all to do with savings advice?
    I’m not trying to be a Wisenheimer, I am truly at a lost. Please help.
    Apparently common sense is not all that common! 🙂

  • Hello Common Sense ~ The connection is very basic . . . if you don’t use common sense, things will break and that will cost you money.

    Thanks for commenting!

  • Chris says:

    Those with commonsense will just naturally be careful in all situations hopefully so that they don’t make the wrong move. One of the things that I have found it that haste makes waste.

    The other day, for instance, I jumped into my vehicle and was in a hurry to get somewhere. I started my truck pushed the garage door button and backed up. The problem is, I didn’t wait for the garage door to go up. I not only bent the heck out of my garage door but also scratched my tailgate in two places.

  • Valentino Buoro says:

    The author of this article is right. We all do these things unconsciously. All we appear to want is our way. I think the morale of this write up is for everyone to think through what we do and find a realistic or practical solution when we come across challenges. Bulldozing our way through may often create unintended outcomes.Even in money matters it pays to think even for a second before you commit money to any purchase or any use whatsoever

  • Gail says:

    Don’t ignore unusual sounds when walking. When it is your knee or hip making that awful clicking sound it would be a good idea to see an orthopedic surgeon!

    When a salesman gives you the creeps or the feeling that something isn’t right, go with your gut and say NO. My hubby is amazed at my intuition in these matters and follows my lead now. We had a salesman trying to tell us we needed a particular filter for our well at big bucks. He kept talking himself into a corner with me and I kept saying no. When my husband then researched it on the internet, he found the same solution could be had for much less money. Now when I say NO my husband ends the discussion and escorts the salesman out or we leave. Not sure if that is common sense, but if something doesn’t sound right, back up and research until you know what to do. Rarely is anything such an emergency matter that you have to jump now. Same goes for deals to good to be true that are only good for the day.

  • snafu says:

    If it sounds too good to be true, it’s likely a scam. There are so many slick tricks to part you from your money. One ounce of common sense saves tons of aggrevation


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