03 Jul

One Olive at a Time

From Pat Veretto,

Here's a tip: I heard that American Airlines saved $40,000.00 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first class.

One olive.


Picture it in your mind.

The rest of the tip: It's a good bet that those first class travelers didn't miss that olive at all. If they even noticed, it certainly didn't make much of an impact. It certainly didn't change the quality of their American Airlines experience.

Can you take that and run with it? Can you find an olive in your life and eliminate it?

To be honest, I doubt you'd save $40,000. Mostly because you don't spend $40,000 on olives in the first place. At least most of us don't spend $40,000 on any one thing. But what if that one olive – thing – cost $400 instead of $40,000? Or $40?

I don't know what American Airlines made in 1987, but you can bet it's more than any of us did. Or will. I don't know if the $40,000 represented 1/10 of one percent or if it represented 1/100 of one percent of their income.

While we're on the subject, what's 1/10 of one percent of your income? Come on, it's easy enough to find out. Take your total annual income and multiply by .001

It isn't much, is it?

But if American Airlines thought it was worth saving, shouldn't you?

Maybe it was easier for them to eliminate an olive from each salad than it will be for you to eliminate one cup of coffee each day, or a soft drink for lunch. Maybe not.

You'll never know until you try, will you?

Phase Two: What are you going to do with your olive money? I doubt that you'll be able to retire on it. But here are some things you can do with it.

You can use it to save more by buying things to replace things that are more expensive to operate – or buy things that will eliminate the need for olives altogether.

Examples? A hair cutting system (clippers, instructional book, etc.) can eliminate the need for paying someone else to cut your hair. A crockpot may very well eliminate the need for "fast food" dining. A clothesline can eliminate the need for at least some dryer loads.

I know. When you save fifty cents or a dollar or even ten dollars, you never see it. It's like dropping it on the sidewalk and never missing it. So what we need to do is make a conscious effort to know what happens to it. Something like a piggy bank works well, but if that isn't your style, how about a desk drawer, a coffee can, a dish on the windowsill?

It doesn't matter what you use, as long as you use something, and make it a point to put the money you've saved in it. As you make the right choices, your savings increase.

Even small, olive sized savings grow to become amazingly powerful pivot points which in turn increase your savings, which become pivots for more savings…

Salad, anyone?

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