I had never been a person who contemplated buying stuff. If I wanted something, I bought it…even if it meant I was charging it on a credit card with money I didn’t necessarily have. It wasn’t ridiculously high priced items or frivolous spending, in my mind, I rationalized a need for it.
Today, being more conscience of my spending and knowing the deep seeded psychology money has in each of us, I find myself making wiser decisions and I can’t help but feel incredibly accomplished by doing so.
I saved over $24 on school supplies for my soon to be kindergartner. I cut coupons and saved over $20 on our groceries this week. I got a free bottle of saline solution (saved $7.49) and even found a coupon for a free “glitter ball” from Borders for my ‘little guy’ who someday will be a professional baseball player… mark my words (he’s one now, but showing major promise).
All this and more in just one week of being careful of mindless spending.
1. Shop Around
I called my eye clinic to replenish my contact supply. I’ve always heard of 1-800-Contacts and suddenly had them looming in the back of my head as I was about to order from my clinic.
I was on the phone and searching the 1-800-Contact site at the same time. He told me, $29 per box. The site … $19 per box PLUS if I bought a year supply (which I need them anyhow) I can get them for $16 a box! I even got free shipping with my order.
Moral of the story…be a wise consumer and shop around. It really doesn’t take that much extra effort. Especially with the internet.
2. Cut Coupons: Find The Deals
If you are anything like me (or like I was) cutting coupons sounds sad. I now know I have correlated coupon cutting with watching my Mom do it as a kid and thinking it was a desperate measure to help make ends meet. I have a completely different view on it now.
You can pick up things for free, hugely discounted and next to nothing with a little research before you head out the door. There are so many sites to visit where you can print off coupons. Right now my favorite is Couponing 101.
3. Think Ahead
Planning ahead is always better than winging it…especially when it comes to money matters. Now, it may take a little extra time and effort, but it’s worth the trouble.
What I’m talking about is meal planning. Putting together a plan for the week is an easy way to budget your grocery bill and use coupons. Poor meal planning is a money pit. Doing this will save time and money.
I found that the grocery store I frequent has a menu planner, coupon finder and even a recipe section online (yours might too). There are many sites that are helpful in creating your meal plan if you do a little searching.
4. Be Mindful
If you are tracking every penny and intentionally keeping an eye on your spending, you will naturally make wiser decisions with your money.
I have a plan to become completely debt free and this is my motivator, I keep this at the forefront of my mind. The end justifies the means and all those little priced items, like a drive-thru lunch or a Kwik Trip cappuccino all become totally wasteful spending that I avoid all together.
5. Make A Plan
Having goals is good, that’s what all the experts say right.
Plan to become debt free, plan to establish an emergency fund, plan to stick to a budget, plan to build a Christmas fund… do it all. At least plan to do something.
Living paycheck to paycheck gets old and when kids are involved it’s simply irresponsible. Educate yourself and find financial success.
I now find coupon cutting fun, almost a bit exciting. I spend time searching for deals and it’s rewarding. I’m becoming more frugal with my family’s future in mind and it’s all worth it.