I decided to do a tip Tuesday series on money and how to keep more of yours. I read a lot of articles and books on money (saving and budgeting). However, the main thing missing in these books (except for Personal Finances for Dummies, which is my favorite money book) they forget to tell you to first figure out where your money is going. If you are overspending you will never have enough to pay your bills or save. Saving 15 percent of your income is a great concept but how do I get 15 percent to save if I am living paycheck to paycheck and barely making it in between. Before you do anything track your spending. This is affective in more ways then just preparation for your new spending and saving habits. I found when I held myself accountable (writing stuff down) I was more reluctant to spend on the unnecessary. I didn’t want to have McDonalds for dinner three times a week staring me in my face. I would suggest tracking your spending for a minimum of 2 weeks (a month is better but we will work with what you are willing to commit to). Once you have tracked your money you can figure out where all your money is going. Are you eating out too much? Is your spending on clothing too much? Is your car hooked up but you are eating oodles and noodles every night for dinner? Is your car insurance too high? Is your car payment to high? All of these questions will be answered when you look at your spending list. Do not limit this list to what you spend out of pocket, include all your automatic deductions as well. I shop on HSN and QVC (I feel like the payment plans are the greatest thing going because there aren’t any interest charges involved). However, that HSN and QVC thing was getting me in trouble. I had over three hundred dollars coming out on automatic payments to QVC and HSN which is not good. So take inventory on where your money is going then we can work on the budget and savings. I am starting over because I feel like I have gotten off track and I will use my Tip Tuesday segment to get me back on track.
I am super excite that today is the 50 % off sale at the Unique Thriftstores. I am a thrift store junky but recently I had to purge because of over crowding in my dresser and closer. The biggest issue was I had a lot of mismatched items. After my purge I realized that I didn’t have a few things but in my true frugal nature I could only get them at a sale price. So today I have my list all ready and I get to hit up the thrift store on my adventure. My son has his first wrestling tournament this morning (bittersweet feelings). I am excited to go cheer him on but disappointed this will delay my shopping trip.
Craft stores often offer weekly coupons with 40 to 60 percent off of regular price (I love these coupons to buy my yarn). So when I see yarn sales that are 4 for $10 I have to make sure it’s worth it. Today yarn that is regularly priced $2.99 was on sale 4 for $10 (not a sale)!!! That’s only .49 off of each skein. No sale for me (I use my under a dollar coupons only at double coupon stores or when an item is on sale. I don’t want to say it’s not worth it because the ultimate goal is to avoid full paying full price but I have to really need something before I use an under a dollar coupon (again if you need it and you have a coupon buy it). I also compare generic to name brand. There are certain things that I just don’t like the generic version of some of the sugary cereals and Nutra Grain bars are two that I can think of off the top of my head. Laundry detergent is another I prefer Tide (but I do use the Dollar Tree detergent instead of Clorox 2). Bleach is another item I won’t buy generic bleach because it yellows my whites faster than Clorox. I will try to work on a blog with my preferences that may be helpful to readers.
I have recently made it a priority to get out of debt. 2016 is my goal year to become virtually debt free. This comes at a hefty price though. I am a shopper and although I am frugal cheap unnecessary items are still unnecessary. These next four month are milestone months for my budget (namely because there is minimal money in my play money fund). It is really hard to go to work daily and not treat yourself to even frugal items. However, I have to keep my eyes on the prize. I did the math and realized that I am giving a lot of money away in the form of interest and fees to bill collectors and that’s not okay for me. So my spending fast begins now. Wish me luck and pray for me!!! Operation financial freedom and prosperity in full effect. Photo courtesy Slate.com.
All cosmetics are buy 2 get 1 free!!! The sale is in-stores and online.