We all say things like “I saved $10 on these shoes.” But everyone knows we didn’t really “save” any money. At the end of the month we won’t have an extra $10. What we should say instead is “I stretched $10.00 on these shoes.” That explains what really happened.
The idea isn’t that we actually saved any money. What we did was stretch our money. We took that $10 and used it to buy something else. Stretching enables us to meet our needs with less money. I don’t have money left over from stretching because I used it to improve my lifestyle instead. Our budget is uncomfortably tight right now. This weekend I found a way to stretch about $20 a month at our favorite restaurant. I’m excited about this because it will mean we get to go out to eat an extra time. I’m not going to fool myself into thinking we will actually save any of that money.