Saturday, March 14, 2009

Take your time

My blog is not only about couponing, finding deals and freebies. It's also about thrifty and smart living! Sure, I like to have a 'stockpile.' It is part of my food 3 month supply or longer even. But I only stockpile what I KNOW I will use. I learned years ago that even if something is a great deal, if I won't use it then it's still a waste of my money. You learn over time what you will use and what you think you will use. Building up a 3 month supply of items you use regularly takes some time. You hit a sale here and there, and it will happen before you know it.

Generally, if I can get free stuff I know I won't use (like toothbrushes...we use Sonic toothbrushes), I will still get some to add to my donation pile. But I still don't always get everything. For example, I am not getting any of the free after rebate items at Walgreens this month. My husband would not use the body wash and I have plenty of medicine on hand...enough for more than a year. So I will let others get those deals that could use them more than I.

I grew up in an extremely frugal household. I might even say cheap. But my parents taught me fabulous lessons that I have carried one with my family. My parents taught me that doing without is fact, is smart. When I was young I just thought they were being mean. What they were really teaching me was the value of money. They didn't buy me every little thing I wanted. And they taught by example. Very rarely did they buy things for themselves...whether it was clothing or other personal things. They didn't go on big trips. They didn't always buy the latest electronic gadget. They didn't buy new clothes on a regular basis. They taught me to "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

In our society today, too many people want things NOW. They have no patience! It's all about me, me, me. "I deserve it," is something I hear a lot.

If you really want to get ahead, couponing, finding deals, and freebies are only a part of the story. A very small part really. Just stop spending so much! Being a smart spender or getting out of debt isn't rocket science. Just spend less that you earn. These are in no particular order, just my thoughts.

1. Start tracking your spending. This is KEY. You must know how much money you make and where it is going in order to save anything. You will be surprised how much you are spending on groceries if you don't already know.

2. Stop spending money on unnecessary things. If you really are honest with yourself, you could be spending less that you need to be in many areas. Read the highlighted link.

3. Get out of unnecessary debt. I am proud to say the only debt we have is our home loan. And, because we didn't get caught up in the whole "moving to a bigger house for really cheap" movement a few years ago we are not struggling right now like so many Americans. We have 2 cars, a van and a truck, that have been paid off for a few years. And we have no credit card debt. It is such a good feeling! Every time we purchase something for our home (even the big screen we bought last year) we pay with IN FULL at the time of payment. We always save and plan ahead. No debt!

4. Be thankful for what you have. I firmly believe that if people would be more thankful for their current situation, no matter what the case may be, we will always find ways to be thankful for what we have instead of always wanting more, more, more. Yes, deals and freebies can be addicting too, but be realistic.

5. Stop spending so much! Remember last year when I took a month off from spending? I looked at that old post and I didn't realize I forgot to post the results! It was AMAZING! I posted it on my personal blog, but copied it over to here. Read my results! (keep in mind gasoline prices were high then...)

I love keeping up this blog but it is also time consuming. Please understand that I cannot post every deal or every sale. But I will keep you informed and help you stay on track to being a smart spender!

1 comment:

Melia said...

Thank you so much for posting today. Just because it is on sale or might be a good deal doesn't make it a must in our lives. Thank you for all of your hard work. I sure appreciate it.

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