My husband broke is phone and given he was out of his contract was trying to decide about buying a used one or getting a new one with a contract. But, I had heard of a great new company that uses sprint's network called ting and asked him to check it out. If you use a referral code, like we did you can get $25 off your first bill. Our referral code is https://z46jot2sip7.ting.com/. My husband used a flip phone for two weeks before deciding he hated the flip phone but liked ting. He ought a cheap, used smart phone and has been happy for the last 2 weeks and our bill was $14 plus taxes. However, the phone cost $140. Right now, I am still on verizon so our bill went from $50 to $44 but it will drop even more when I join ting in January. By October of the next year we will have save the whole cost of the phones by joining ting. But, what about those who can't afford the upfront cost of $140? They end up paying more in the long run. Over two years we will save $290 over a family plan on verizon. So, those who have money save while those you don't get poorer. Seems familiar somehow.
Money Saving Mom had a blog post about paying $30/week on food http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/04/is-it-possible-to-survive-on-a-30-per-week-grocery-budget.html but the only way it work was if she only spent $25 and saving $5 for stockpiling. My husband and I have a goal of $66/week, but we do the same, stockpile when the price is lowest. But when you are in a hole, you may not have the extra $5. So what can you do? Well, when we started out and did not have any extra, I made extra. We used mypoints and swagbucks to stretch our spending which then gave us a dollar or two to save. And really, those dollars add up.
Another spend to save is something I have always done, yet found out recently that many of my friends never do is to pay my car insurance every six months. It costs my friends an extra dollar a month to pay monthly which adds up to $12/year, which I don't spend. But my friends sat there saying, I don't have $200 to spare this month so I can't. And thinking back, the only reason I do, is that my mom paid my first six months and therefore I had the six months to save for it. And on that line, my insurance is cheaper than my friends because I have higher deductibles. But I can only have that because I have the money to pay them. If my friends can't pay a $200 car insurance bill, how can they pay a $1000 deductible? And how did I get that amount? Because my mom certain did not hand me $1000 before I moved out.
But she did teach me about calling around every six month to a year and seeing if one could find a better deal. At 19 I paid $700 every six month for the lowest legally required coverage for one car. Now I pay $435 for much higher coverage, plus comprehensive and collision, and each time I cut my bill, the difference went into the car fund. Now I have money set aside for my deductible and save even more money. But, until I saved up that money, it would have been a risk to have a high deductible.
So, I do think there is truth to the saying, "the rich get richer and the poorer get poorer", but over time, you can set aside money so you can be rich. Never stop trying.