Hubby and I have gotten serious about money. Nothing specifically has happened to cause this per se. Just watching the economy has made us more aware of not wasting money.
How are we getting serious? Well, I haven’t used my credit card since November. For those of you that know me – know that this is a pretty big deal. I took it out of my wallet back then and I’ve never put it back. Honestly? I hardly miss it.
Another thing we’ve done is I paid for Christmas entirely in cash. We also cut our Christmas budget by about two-thirds. This was HUGE! We decided we weren’t going to send every person we know a Christmas gift and those gifts we were buying were going to be much less expensive. To tell the truth, we really couldn’t tell the difference in the enjoyment of anyone. My sister loves her Rubik’s Cube that cost me under $10. She probably loves it more than the $40 gift I got her last year that I can’t even remember.
A fairly recent thing we’ve started doing is making a budget. I know, this word may scare some of you but I now think of it very differently. We’re still spending money – only this way we KNOW where we’re spending it and how much goes to what. We’ve not gotten entirely miserly and we still budget for eating out and Target and a little money in both our pockets to just blow. Actually, this is the first time I’ve ever had cash to spend without having to make sure Hubby knew what was going on so he could track the bank account. That’s why I used my credit card so often – I could spend what I wanted and Hubby didn’t have to worry that I’d taken money out of the bank which would affect a check he’d written. I am LOVING the budget!
The budget has also made me an avid coupon clipper and sale finder. I sit down with the Sunday paper each week and peruse the coupons looking for deals. Then, I check the store flyers to see what sales and markdowns they are having and see if I can combine that with a coupon for even greater savings. Example, tonight I needed to go buy conditioner which I would normally get at Sally Beauty Supply. But when I checked the Publix flyer I saw that Garnier was on sale 3 for $8. Not a terrible deal but when I checked my coupons I had more than 3 $1 off coupons. Combine that with the sale and I could get 3 bottles for $5 – now that’s a bargain. I headed to Target first to get cat litter and decided to check their hair products just to compare. Well, guess what I found? They had Herbal Essence on sale for $3.24 each but I had a $3 off coupon when you bought 2 so I got 2 bottles of that for $3.48. Then, when I went to Publix, they actually Garnier on sale 2 for$4. I had my $1 off coupons and only used two of them (I saved the others since I was now going to have 4 bottles of conditioner). So, I got 2 bottles of that for $1.00 each! I also had Publix’s 1 cent mystery coupon which turned out to be Publix brand tortilla chips. I had a coupon for a free pack of gum too. So I saved over $6.00 in coupons at Publix and only spent $11.29 for $17.53 worth of stuff. Not too bad on such a small bill, huh?
Okay, does my excitement over this make me a HUGE dork? I’m okay if it does, I was just wondering.