So, what do you do with your money? Save money, spend it? Which do you prefer to do? I know people who live by the precept of “You cannot take it with you”.
Those people seem to owe everyone money. They live day by day, never seem to know how or when they are going to pay their rent (or mortgage if they own a home). Or how they will feed their family or put fuel in their car. If a big repair is needed, they are usually knocking on someone’s’ door. Honestly, since I know how they are, part of me hopes it is not my door that they knock on. Whatever is loaned really ends up being a gift, you never do get it back.
And then there are those that SAVE!
Not a penny slips between their fingers that they don’t know where it goes. And it never goes anywhere without their strict permission. I guess that is the best way to put it. They budget to the strictest degree. Many of the people that I know that fall into this category use a ledger for their checking account. Every receipt for every debit card use, every online transaction, every check written goes into it.
It could be a huge error if you actually got up the nerve to ask one of these people for a loan. Contracts will be written, signed, and strictly adhered to. Also, if you think the bank is harsh with loans, some of my friends like this missed their true calling of being a loan shark. However I wouldn’t trade them for all the money in the world.
In my dreams, about money, saving, spending..
I would almost, yes almost love to see my friends who live so spontaneously about money meet and go to dinner with my friends who are the exact opposite. You know, the one’s who are diametrically opposed to throwing money out the door (to which I agree).
I mention this because I can almost see how the ordering would go. Couple “A” who don’t handle money well tell the waiter or waitress “we’ll figure out the check after the meal”. Couple “B” intercedes with “separate checks please”. Now the fact that I can picture the people in my heads, totally amuses me, because I can relate, can you?
So where am I going with Money talk?
I am definitely closer to “couple b” than “couple a”. Inside I seem to morally object to wasting money. Even when I made six figures and was single with no car payment and very few bills. Something in my core, deep down said not to be wasteful, save money don’t spend it. So, I wasn’t spending so much I was saving, it is probably in my upbringing.
I would have to say that I blame, or credit is a better way to put it, my Mother and hers. Oh and S & H Green Stamps also. Do you remember those? They were available until the mid-80’s I believe. You ought things with those stamps which were given out at cash registers from various grocery stores, gas stations and I am sure other places too.
MONEY, SAVE IT, SPEND IT, HELP KEEP IT IN YOUR POCKET?
When you got the stamps, you put them in an S & H book. Each book held 50 stamps (?), you collected the books and then either shopped at the S & H store (for us it was in Peoria IL, I believe), or you ordered through the catalogue. You could buy things like glassware, towels, knick-knacks and such. They were a predecessor of sorts to Fingerhut in the types of things they sold. My Mom also used store coupons and newspaper coupons.
What all of this taught me as a child was to pay attention to prices. My Mom was really very good at paying attention to prices. There were seven of us until my sister came home with my infant niece in tow. Then there were eight of us at times for my parents to put food on the table for, plus all of the other normal bills.
WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME WITH MONEY NOW??
Actually, it leaves me off fairly well with the ability to save money and not spend it all. I seem to have a knack for couponing even though I am not one of these women (or men) like you see on TV. You know, those crazy coupon people that walk in and spend 5 or 6 hours in the grocery store.
They have half a dozen baskets filled with food, the bill runs into the thousands. Until they get to the end of cashing out and begin handing the poor cashier all of those coupons from that huge book. That would be the huge notebook filled with coupons that they went through slowly as they walked from aisle to aisle cleaning out shelves. Their bill at the end is well under $100, sometimes even under $50. And if the system doesn’t take a coupon they chew out the cashier like it is their fault.
Point of fact, I am good at saving money and fall a little above the average person, but well below the crazy coupon people. On average, I would say that I save somewhere between 35%-45% without putting any real effort into it.
I HAVE A SYSTEM FOR SAVING MONEY!
Firstly, I go through my grocery store print ads with a marker and scissors. I circle the sales that I want to write down and cut out any coupons that say digital or print. I usually do this the day the ads come out. For us this is in our mailbox on Wednesday. So typically I do this on Thursday morning over coffee.
That part doesn’t take much time, maybe ten minutes at most. Then I pick up my phone and begin with my store apps, I go through and digitally clip a bunch of coupons. Even if it something I am not going to use this time. I might be sending my guy or stepson to the store for something and I won’t have to worry if I have a coupon.
Of course there is an app called “Flipp“. It is in your app store. This app is a total shopping app where you can load up most (maybe all) of your favorite stores. Then once that is done, when you open it up you will see the flyers again. The reason I do this, is if I am looking for a specific item, that is the easiest way to find the best price.
It has a search bar, you type in the search bar the specific item you are looking for. Say I am looking for a specific brand of potato chips. I put them in the search bar. Then the app will pull up the stores that have the item and similar one’s, with prices, sizes, everything you need.
WHAT IS NEXT? DO YOU DO WHAT I DO?
I have long ago made my necessity list for shopping. Did I mention that I wonder? I still write everything down on a piece of paper. I put it all in sections by where in the store (or my home) I will find it. Fresh veggies & fruit, canned goods, paper products, frozen foods, meat, dairy, etc.
I might do this different than you do, because we live in a city. If you wonder what difference this makes, well it is simple. Within 3 miles of our home, we have 6 good grocery stores that I can shop at, depending on what I am looking for. So my list is a column, fairly neat, and next to each item I jot down the price if it is on sale and I have a code for the store. As I go through ads, there might be three or four prices next to one item. Because what I first thought was the best price, maybe ends up not being. So if there is enough items at more than one store, I do go to more than one store.
SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF WORK DOESN’T IT, SAVING MONEY?
As a matter of fact, no it doesn’t take that much time. If you are wondering how that is possible, it is easy. When others pick up their phone to crawl social media over coffee every morning, I begin with my coupons, paper if it has come in, digital if not. I know what I buy on a regular basis, so it is easy. When I see coupons I will use, I clip them digitally. When I am bored with clipping coupons and saving money that way, I begin with my other apps.
What other apps you might be asking yourself. Well, I have an app for that, whatever it is, when it comes to money, I have an app for it. I use ReceiptPal, found in your app store, (and several others that work the same or similar) to scan in receipts. Now take a picture of the receipt, in the app. Then I double check that everything is visible. Next, I simply let the money add up. It takes a little bit of time, but it does add up. You can use your digital receipts also if you like. You can cash out to visa gift cards or other store gift cards. I always cash out to visa gift cards since I know that I can use them anywhere.
DO YOU LIKE TO SAVE CASH?
Oh and then to save more money, even while you spend it. Who doesn’t like to save money while they spend it and get cash back too? One of my favorite things to do is to buy gas. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Well maybe it is, if you know me, then you know it isn’t.
Here is why it isn’t crazy, let me tell you a secret. I truly love saving money. It really does make me happy. Almost all of the grocery stores have a gas rewards program and if they do, when I get gas, I use them. Plus I use another app called GetUpside with this app, I open it up prior to going to the gas station. It will show you the gas stations that accept it. It will show you the gas prices and the cash rebate per gallon that you can get through the app.
You pick your gas station, go check in with the app, by claiming the offer. The first few times you have to scan the receipt in. Later on it will recognize your debit or credit (cash back card?) that you use regularly. (But still get that paper receipt for your other apps.) GetUpside will give you cash back onto your bank account that you link with it. I like to get it up to $50 and then redeem. Nice little way to have emergency cash.
LOOK FOR MORE MONEY…
One of my next blogs will be “just apps” where I discuss all of the money saving apps that I use. There are too many to put into this blog. So I will dedicate one blog just for apps.
Namaste ~ Momma Janet