Although I hate paying membership fees, usually you can get a wholesale club membership for less than the retail price. We just used a Sam’s Club coupon and joined for half the retail cost. Using their affiliate link marketing program, we received a $10 gift card (old member, me) and a $20 gift card (new member, my wife). Using the combination of an expiring account and a new membership, we joined Sam’s Club for $15.
In the past, we had a Costco membership. Unfortunately, it seems the Costco coupons and/or discount offers to either renew or join are far and few between. The Sam’s Club coupon makes it reasonable enough to join and/or renew using the method just explained above. We don’t shop a lot at Sam’s Club, but we do find good deals on several items we commonly buy. For example, I’ve researched tires, TV speakers, and golf cart batteries and found Sam’s Club to be the best deal around. We like saving money and we save enough to make the Sam’s Club membership fee a non-issue for us (only $15 using the Sam’s Club coupon).
Creating Good Financial Habits
I know going the extra mile to save on a wholesale club membership can appear to be trivial; such a small amount of money. It isn’t much of a savings. I agree, it is important to get big wins financially too, and we do with rental property and other investments. But, the important point I want to share is getting into the habit of saving money and cutting wasteful spending. Believe me, good financial habits over time add up. It added up rather quickly for us.
I recently read the book, Atomic Habits. The author, James Clear, is dead on. It is important to create a system of good financial habits. The big money comes more naturally when you understand how to take care of the little financial wins on a consistent basis.
For example, several years ago we started focusing on ways to increase our retirement savings. Upon review of our spending, we realized there were numerous relatively easy ways to capitalize on the small financial wins. Fast forward years later. Our financial adviser helped us establish a comprehensive retirement plan. When he looked at our past spending (actual expenses), he observed that our spending was below average based on his work with hundreds of clients over time.
I shared some of our financial habits with him, such as getting a month of free groceries, not paying for streaming services, not paying retail for almost everything we buy (i.e., wholesale club memberships, etc.), and credit card hacking. He was impressed with our financial habits. He also ran several financial models and concluded we could comfortably retire years before we planned, or double our spending in retirement. That’s a big win!
Note we hired a “fee only” financial adviser. The return from the financial advice received is greater than the fee paid. In short, we’ll make more money than it cost to hire the adviser (positive ROI). Also, we have a more balanced portfolio, understand the risks better, know when to take social security for our specific situation, and know more about the need, or not, for life/disability insurance. Paying a fee-only financial adviser is well worth it, or at least it is in our case.
Let me know if you’re a member of a wholesale club like Sam’s Club or Costco. Is it worth it for you?