Saved money is a smarter approach to your goals than earned money
Living frugally means attempting to save money where you can, rather than blowing your earnings faster than your bank account can absorb it. Frugality sometimes has a bad stigma attached to it, and some people mistakenly perceive frugalness with just being a plain crabby and cheap tightwad. However, using craftily saved money towards a desired goal is much smarter than using earned money, and here’s why.
Let’s say you really have your heart set on a new Plasma television for around $1,000. You have two choices. You can either cut back on your other expenses to salvage enough from your current savings, or you can start increasing your earnings, let’s say by taking on a temporary second job.
Once state and federal taxes have wrecked havoc on your paycheck, however, you’ll need to earn more than $1,000 in the end – hundreds more, in fact. For our coveted Plasma television, we’ll actually need to earn roughly $1,400 to cover all mandatory taxes from our paycheck.
If we instead chose to cut back in other areas of our life to use savings that have all ready been taxed, we can then plop down $1,000 and be done with it – without enduring the stress or time wasted of assimilating a second job.
This is why many financial advisors view frugality as a wonderful way to “earn” money through savings, without the headache and hassle of working more to achieve the same goal.
So how can we become more frugal to save on current earnings?
The next time you buy a product without regard to price, consider further options to help you “earn” more through savings. Here are some suggestions.
Coupons – Using coupons and coupon codes for online shopping can help save you mega bucks over time.
- Cool Savings offers a wide assortment of printable coupons on groceries, baby goods, free items, freebies, and much more.
- Coupon Cabin has the option to search for relevant coupons by item category, specific store, or by state, to locate specific malls in your area. I love this site!
- ValPak asks for your zip code, and your ready to roll.
- Custom Coupon offers hundreds of coupons on everyday items, like cereal and yoghurt.
- Coupon Surfer is a great resource for coupons on groceries, children’s items, books, clothing, music, and much more.
All those coupons mean big savings and, with enough financial tips, don’t ever forget the power of little savings because they add up over time.
And this coupon list is by no means comprehensive. There are many sites out there geared toward helping you save on everyday items. Looking for dining coupons? Plug your area and “discount dining” into your favorite search engine and see what can be dug up.
This ABCNews article offers great advice on online shopping codes for even more savings. And another article from MSN Money shows consumers how to optimize savings to the max. With all these great resources at your fingertips on the web, you no longer have an excuse not to take advantage of nifty savings whenever possible.
Sales are also a great way to beef up your savings. If you find a coveted item, make sure to stock up during sales.
Comparison Shopping and Auction sites. Take advantage of comparison shopping and auction websites, which help find the best deals on an item. I’m in the process of putting together a more comprehensive list of resources, but here are two of my favorite sites to start.
- eBay is now the world’s largest auction site. I use eBay for just about everything. I can find many items for much less than at traditional stores, even with the shipping costs, and it saves gas money to boot.
- mySimon is a great comparison shopping engine which lists the online prices for a given product at many different stores. Compare prices and watch the savings roll in.
Learn to be a gourmet chef and eat in more. You’ll be amazed at the ridiculous amounts you’ll save just by not eating out so much. Buy foods in bulk when possible for even more savings, or find dining coupons when you do decide to treat yourself.
Avoid impulse buying. This is a great incentive for bringing cold hard cash along on your shopping sprees. Have a clear idea of what you’re looking for and stick to it. If you stumble across something you’re absolutely salivating to buy, give it a day or two before going back to make the purchase. Impulse buying used to be a huge money-waster for me, and it was usually on crap I didn’t even need.
Buy generic brands. Most stores are psychologically set up so that the most expensive brands are placed eye-level to the customer on the shelf. Consider looking upward or downward for cheaper generic brands. They cost less, but are just as effective.
Consignment shops, second hand stores & yard sales. Gently-used clothing stores can save you big money. I once bought a great hoodie for $1, and it’s still my most comfy one! Consider selling your gently used clothing to some of these places for an added bonus.
Library. Your local library is an often overlooked but valuable resource as well. A good library is stocked with loads of books and DVDs that can be borrowed for free. For a tiny fee, my library will also request titles from other branches if they don’t carry it themselves. The desired books or movies usually arrive for pickup at the nearest convenient location within 2-3 days. The fee here for this service is 25¢ per book, or $1.00 for a special Video or DVD request.
I ♥ my library.
Baby Steps are Key~†~
Take advantage of great deals and start “earning” more on your savings