Coupons have a bit of a bonus that many underestimate, or simply do not realize. Those coupons that may be an irritating feat to clip, screen shot, or collect can be turned into cash without a big sacrifice. For instance, if clipping a .50 cent coupon seems like more trouble than it’s worth, what if I told you that could turn into cold hard cash? Many find it difficult to save, but making it a “savings game” can bring on your competitive spirit.
Let’s play for real money!
Here’s how it works: Start by creating a goal to collect as many practical coupons as you can. Grab a calculator or pen and paper, and tally each coupon. Once you have your total, set that cash aside. If your total is $2.00 or $20.00 it doesn’t really matter at this point. Place the coupons into your wallet, car, or purse. Don’t forget them at home! This amount is going to be deposited into your savings account. The small amounts add up quickly! If you can afford to, double your total, so instead of depositing a total of $2, that amount is $4. There are many websites and newspapers that offer these free coupons, and this will put the money you are saving with the coupon to a great purpose. All the while you will be spending the amount you planned on spending anyway.
That bank account is bulging!
In a short amount of time, those extra little steps can lead to pretty big chunk of change in your savings. If you continue clipping and depositing, each and every time you spend you will also be saving for the future. Anything can happen at any time, and being prepared is the only way to ensure you will be ok in the event of a lost job, injury, or disaster.
Don’t leave the coupons on the counter!
With the current state of retail competition, there are coupons everywhere. Just a quick search in the search engine will bring up pages of results. Additionally, retailers often offer their own coupons on their websites, in their circulars, and in store. Keeping track of your coupons is a crucial part of this game, so having a special spot to store them that will ensure you will have them on hand is very important. I cannot tell you how many times I have clipped coupons only to leave them on the counter! Or written a shopping list that never made the journey to the store with me.
Gather resources, there are plenty available.
There are also great resources to find great deals by joining couponing communities on social media. Others share their knowledge and perhaps their coupons with other members, and let each other in on the best places to find them.
Have you heard of “Rounding Up”?
You can also use the benefit of rounding up at the checkout. If your total is $117.35 (yes, that is a random number) save your receipt! Before going to the bank to deposit your coupon savings, add .65 to the total of your grocery bill to round up to $118.00, or if you are feeling like the superhero you are, round up to $120.00, or whatever you feel that you can safely deposit without missing anything,so to speak. There are apps that you can download to help you with this, so that every time you make a purchase, that total is automatically rounded up.
Let’s check out the bottom line.
Think about this for a moment. Using those coupons that you would normally throw out with the junk mail, to give a conservative guess could offer at least a savings of $5.00 a week. That may not sound like much, but lets do this. Fifty-two weeks in a year, multiply that number by five. That is $260 bucks in a single year! That is only adding the paper coupons that are in the weekly mailers. Now, add to that additional in-store coupons, web searched/printed coupons, and rounding up. Let’s give that a conservative estimate as well; I will say an additional $20, and of course with rounding up, potentially more. Can you guess the total that would be in your savings account at the end of one single year?? Guess. I will wait. $1300 USD! That could give you a nice little vacation, or nest egg for an emergency. The ideal purpose is completely determined by your needs, however I would recommend that it continues growing. Continue using coupons and rounding up to increase your savings.
A “valuable” lesson.
You can also use this opportunity to teach your children valuable lessons in saving and financial planning. I certainly wish I would have learned this younger, and taught my children. When my husband was working, he made good money. In my feeble mind, there was always nextpayday. I was very impulsive, I did not plan or save. I spent as quickly as the money came in. People around me would always tell me to save, and I would answer I know, I need to.However, I never did. I never took simple steps that would have made a huge difference. After 11 years, my husband lost his job. We had a company sponsored 401k plan that cashed out, but eventually that would run out. I was self-admittedly immature and frivolous, and of course hindsight is always 20/20. I can tell you, if I would have committed to using this method for those 11 years, saving just a few dollars a week, by the end of that 11 years we would have banked an additional $12,000 at least.
Planning for tomorrow.
Remember, a 50 cent coupon is not just 50 cents saved on products. It is a good start on potentially thousands in the bank! What would you do with $10k? Take a vacation? Pay off debt? Invest in stocks? To think, it all started with a shampoo coupon.