We haven’t talked about it for awhile, but it has become a particularly challenging subject for our own family, over the last 12 months, so January seems like a good time to remind and encourage you, and us, that having a savings account is not only possible, but so critically necessary. It can be so discouraging when you are in the midst of a financial crisis to see your way out of it, much less to begin saving money, again. I want you not to give up, though. You really CAN start – no matter where you are, today.
Let’s start with the basic plan of saving $1000 in a year. Eventually, you are going to want to expand on that and increase your savings more quickly, but believe me when I tell you that after three unexpected surgeries in a little over two years, we have drained our savings, taken out a mortgage on our previously paid-off home and slid back into that uncomfortable and dangerous position of living paycheck-to-paycheck. So, we understand your dilemma. Living paycheck-to-paycheck, with nothing saved in reserve, means that realistically you and I are only a couple of weeks from homeless, if a job were suddenly to be lost (unless we are willing to accumulate some massive debt, and we definitely are not).
We are NOT staying here, in this precarious place, though, even if it will take some time to work our way back out. I promise you. Even though the road is uphill and some days it seems absolutely impossible, we are on the path to saving $1000, again, and YOU can totally do it, too. With some wise planning and simpler living, I’m hoping to increase what we can save and have more than $1000 at the end of 2015, but regardless of whether I increase the pace or not, $1000 WILL most certainly be achieved. That means I have to save $19.24 each week. Yes, that’s right! If you faithfully save, $19.24 each week, you will have $1000 at the end of 2015. You will also have created a habit of saving that will make it even easier the next year and the year after that.
To save $19.24 each week, you’re going to need to get creative, to simplify and to quite frankly, “do without” some things. You will either need to cut your budget or increase your income. There are many ways to do both, but today, I’ll remind you that coupons can be the simplest form of saving money, if you are wise in how you use them. Groceries are one of the few “controllable expenses” we have. Our mortgages, car insurance, property taxes and utility bills are pretty much “set”, but we CAN control what we spend on groceries. Coupons are one simple way.
I haven’t really made a big push for coupons with you, previously, unless they were pretty high value, because I don’t want you to get the idea that I think it’s smart to try and become one of those “extreme couponers” you see on TV and the Internet. In its place, couponing can be a helpful, money-saving tool. I don’t, however, buy a product just because I have a coupon for it. If it is a product I would have purchased anyway, or it is a product that can replace something I would have purchased anyway and by using it, I will spend less, then I use it. If couponing can save me $5, or $10 or even $20 off the list of groceries I was already planning to purchase, that’s a total win and I’m going for it! If however, I bought $40 worth of extra products, that we don’t normally purchase, just to use a stack of coupons, those coupons actually cost me more than if I had just paid full price for my normal groceries.
So, I’m sharing these with you as ONE tool in your saving arsenal. I will post a new set of coupons at least once a month and you can always check back to the monthly posts to print the ones you missed. Use them to shop wisely and frugally and put some of those grocery dollars back into your bank account for saving. I hope you’ll find them useful in your quest to save $19.24, this week!
The coupon center I’m sharing with you will allow you to print all of your coupons, right here, from Busy-at-Home, but it is so large that sidebars won’t fit on my page. When you’re finished printing coupons, just click one of the links to return to the Busy-at-Home home page and you will be able to view the site in it’s usual format.