Saving every penny from every life.
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Saving the change you never notice

Posted 10-23-2011 at 11:39 PM by medic2midwife

I wanted to touch briefly on a few small tips I've picked up here and there on saving change. I know that certain banks have a program where they will round your purchases to a dollar and transfer that change to your savings account and that's great.. but you're going to have to claim taxes on that interest rate at the end of the year. I'm also beginning to get more and more paranoid of 'the man' as our economy worsens and our world as a whole becomes more and more unstable both socially and economically. I feel that in no time at all I'll be completely hoarding all of our money in a hole of our mattress. But then again this advice comes to you from the same lunatic that is seriously considering the LDS method of stockpiling for the zombie apocalypse that I've been insisting will happen for the last 8 years or so. I was afraid of the zombies before it was cool due to a borderline healthy facination with microbiology.

My husband and I aren't rolling in the money but couponing as I'm sure you've all experienced has stretched what we do have to a well enjoyed max. I'm no longer dropping a whopping 600 a month on food items at the store each month and that means I now have an extra 400 in my pocket that I never had before. However with any raise or sudden fund increase, we almost always have murphys law pop up and give us something to spend that money on against our much desired intentions for it. For the last few months I've been unfortunately spending this money on bills necessary to pay off to close on our custom home we began building in May!!! So I've yet to benefit in a glorious shopping spree kind of way but I am taking us slow steps forward to a stable family home life and overall greater wealth.

Anywho... we're all saving up for our own reasons with our couponing. Some do it just to make ends meet, some do it to save for trips and others do it as a lifestyle choice. I'm a goal oriented person... now that I'm couponing like this, I'll never go back because why on earth would you spend full price on something when you don't have to? However, if I happen to plan for something to use this 'rainy day' money for then that's good for me too because it strengthens my will power when I want to retail therapy myself after a hard week at work. And though I'm due to close on my brand new home any week now, I'm already itching to add some special features I was too cheap to include in the build. Right now I'm planning on some mosaic tiling, some totally pimp wallpaper in the master bath that is bound to set me back a few hundred and if I get real wild some upgraded bathroom sinks I saw at ikea and had to be dragged away from by security. These upgrades benefit me further in terms of investing equity in my home so it's a win/win!

Here are some simple tips that seem like no brainers but could go a long way in squeezing blood from that stone we all have chained to our ankles.

1. Take your budgeted money for couponing/shopping out in cash and only spend that amount. Dump your metal change into a bucket (or your bills too if you really went hard core with it!) and leave it alone. Cash it in at the end of the year and if you average the basic household, you should be looking at around $500 bucks. It's great to have at the end of the year for christmas shopping, add that to couponing and you'll come out on top!

2. Playing on the same idea was something I followed for a long time until eventually food prices shot up too high to do it any longer. Your food budget should be a set amount each month... if you have a stable stockpile it may be less. Whatever you don't spend from your budget, transfer to your savings. It may be 10 dollars one month, 56 another. After a few months, it will start to add up.

3. Look into natural products for your home, you can create many of them yourself and save money and there are also ways to get the kinds of products you like for less. You can make your own foaming hand soap to stretch those pennies and your own cleaning solutions for your counters and floors that are non toxic and 100% natural.

4. Rewards programs are a huge benefit. Look into what credit cards can offer you first before you sign up for one, then use it on big purchases like paying certain bills to gain the points, then take the money you had for your bill and pay it on your card before your next billing cycle because thats when the card reports your balance to your credit. This way you're gaining points/rewards without harming your credit score and building better credit in the process. You can also do this with shopping programs such as ebates.

5. Cut your cable if you have internet. If you really don't watch cable often then why pay for it? You're likely spending over 100 a month on your cable bill if you follow the trend of the national average. If you only watch a few shows, you can more than likely find them avaliable for free on hulu, their websites or for pay per view viewing at amazon. Netflix is a fantastic cheap alternative and if you have built in wifi with your tv/dvd player, you can stream it straight to your tv. Avoid contacts, don't get suckered like I did for the Super Bowl.. I've got 12 more months and counting until I can bail out of my contract. If you're stuck in a contract of any kind with phone, internet or cable, call and see what you can cut out. You may be paying for services and channels you don't even use or were aware of. I found out I was spending 30 a month on a back up option for my internet I never even knew about!
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