My parents instilled two financial lessons into me from a very young age: Never go into credit card debt and always have a rainy day fund. I took heed to their advice, and I didn’t get my first credit card until after I graduated from college and got into my career. During that same time, I started my rainy day fund. And I soon found out how hard it was to consistently deposit money into the account without removing it at a later date. After some trial and error, I finally found a way always to save money and use it only for its intended purpose. I’m going to share the two tips that helped me save thousands in one year.
Also, check out:
How To Coupon For Beginners
How To Save Money On Your Next Vacation
How To Save Thousands In One Year
Separate Savings Account
The first step that I took was opening a different savings account that’s not linked to my checking account. How did this help me save consistently? Out of sight, out of mind. I started seeing my checking account money as my only available money. The separate account stopped me from transferring money from my savings account instead of budgeting what I had available.
Direct Deposit It
To prevent myself from using my savings or not transferring the money at all, I started depositing part of my paycheck directly into the separate savings account. This way, I didn’t have any excuse for spending the money. I looked at it in the same way that I do my health insurance payments or my 401k. My thought process is, Am I missing something that I never had in my possession?
Don’t Put It All In One Place
If I’m saving up for different things, I never put it all into one account. I’ve had times when I forgot what money I had allotted for what purpose. To prevent that, I stopped grouping all my savings. It’s simple, but it prevents a lot of headaches.
What tips do you have on how to save money?
I don’t know about you, but I love saving money. I’m the person that goes straight to the sale section as soon as I enter the store and I search for coupon codes before purchasing anything, so why wouldn’t I coupon for in-store savings? Couponing is a hobby at this point.
I look forward to my couponing Mondays! I wouldn’t call myself a pro yet, but I think I’ve learned enough not to have too many hiccups. Couponing can be stressful and nerve-wracking, so I’m here to give you some tips on how to coupon for beginners.
Also check out: How to save money on your next vacation
How to Coupon for Beginners
Tip #1: Plan Plan Plan
Planning is crucial to having a smooth couponing trip. People are not frustrated that you’re using coupons. People are frustrated because you’re unorganized and using coupons. I always plan the day before. Making sure I write down everything that I want to get along with the purchase price and the coupon amount and the total minus the coupon. I then place the sum of my entire trip at the bottom so I know what my total should be. This way I can tell if something went wrong or if the cashier didn’t scan a coupon. I go to the store and only get the things on my list. If I need to get other things on my list, I ring them up in separate transactions.
Tip #2: Read Everything
Read the coupon expiration, the coupon rules, and the store coupon policy before going. This will prevent any confusion when you’re checking out. Knowledge is key! Different coupons have different rules. READ THE FINE PRINT! Check out this website for a breakdown on coupon fine print.
Tip #3: Let someone else plan for you
When I first started couponing, I would follow a pros couponing list until I became comfortable doing my own. I still use them to this day. My favorites are
Krazy Coupon Lady- Makes it super easy to coupon because they give you the item amount, the coupons you should use, and how much your total should be after. And they separate the deals by the store!
CVS circular- CVS is my favorite store to coupon at because of their Extra Bucks! Do you know those extremely long receipts that you throw away? Those contain beneficial coupons at the bottom that you can combine with manufacturer coupons. And their circular usually tell you their sale and what manufacture coupons can be combined with the sale.
Youtube: Search for a Youtuber in your area that makes couponing videos. This way the prices will be more accurate, and they have more knowledge about the specific stores in your area.
Tip #4: Coupons are everywhere
get coupons from a lot of different places. I always get a Sunday paper because they have the best selection of coupons. Make sure to check the circular calendar before purchasing because sometimes they will skip a Sunday. Coupons.com and PGeveryday are also useful resources for printable coupons. If you’re looking for a coupon for a particular product, make sure to check the manufactures website. They sometimes have a coupon section.
Tip #5: Be Patient
Don’t try to be an extreme couponer in the beginning. Start small until you get the hang of it. And don’t buy things you don’t need or use just because its cheap. That defeats the purpose of couponing which is to save money. Use your coupons with confidence! Don’t let anyone make you feel less than, cheap, or embarrassed for using coupons. They should be ashamed for paying full price!