Every time someone tells you to do something inconvenient in order to save money, make sure you listen to that lazy part of yourself that doesn't want to get off the couch and clip coupons.
When it comes to the small stuff, saving a few dollars here and there, it's rarely worthwhile to go out of your way simply to cut costs. Sweating the small stuff doesn't make sense, and the more time you spend trying to save an extra couple of dollars, the more you lose.
Most personal finance writers will tell you just the opposite. The example they love to use is paying ATM fees. You read some of these columns and come away with the feeling that, short of carrying a balance on your credit card, paying a couple of dollars to use another bank's ATM is the single most grievous financial error since Churchill tried to put England back on the gold standard in the 1920s.
I have done a lot of stupid, irresponsible, even insane things with my money, and I'm more than willing to admit my mistakes and share them with you in truly embarrassing detail.But paying for convenience is smart. It's efficient. It's a good way to live your life. And if you listen to pretty much anyone who writes a personal finance column, you're not going to live that way.
My checking account is with Bank of America, but there's a Sovereign Bank just a block away from my apartment building. The closest Bank of America ATM is about a 15-minute walk, round trip, from where I live, but I can get to that Sovereign Bank and back in two or three minutes. Let's say that's a 10-minute difference for the sake of argument. I can either pay two bucks to get my money or spend 10 minutes walking. There have to be hundreds of people who have written the same column telling you to save the money and walk, and I believe they're writing the same columns again now that Bank of America increased the fee that outsiders pay to use its ATMs. For a great article about that, check out Philip van Doorn's "Stop Whining About Three Dollar ATM Fees."