You've been scrimping, saving, toiling, scouring Sunday inserts...all for what? The coupon notch in your frugal tool belt is well established, but unless you shift those newly saved funds to something tangible, couponing will become a total drag. The biggest threat to quitting your frugal lifestyle is the lack of a visual financial return on your investment. What can these small slips of paper actually do for me?
Maybe it's not so much what can coupons do for you but rather what they can do for others. Or maybe you'd like to use the savings for something personal. Let's say you can afford to pay full price for all your food, that you have no budgetary need to coupon. That's great! But what about people who legitimately can't afford their meals? Would you be willing to coupon for that? Buy the same products you like and have money left over to benefit your neighbor. View your coupon clipping as a donation of time toward serving others. Incentive enough?
You have a ballpark figure of what you spent on food (restaurant and grocery) before clipping coupons. If not, track it now! Review your credit card transactions or receipts since your total is probably higher than you think. Then get started with coupons and, later, stockpiling after you get the hang of tracking sales and using coupons. Use your pre-coupon food budget or and your new, lower receipts to gauge the amount you're saving. Rather than send the difference into a spending abyss, we've prepared a list of ways to make use of your coupon code savings.
Those short-term thinkers snickering at you in the checkout lines haven't done the math on your long-term wealth building. Over the course of 25 years, the following savings each month invested at 4% will yield gigantic rewards. What will you do with it?
$100/month saved with coupons = $52,240.68
It's not unusual to save at least $200 per month couponing. Yes, that's accurate. And it will become an automatic process after five or six months. But to maximize your savings, take the difference between your non-coupon total and your actual cost and refund it to yourself in a steadily growing Money Market Account or something else moderately conservative. If you choose to send it immediately to other needs, that works too. But you need to do it!
The trick is to envision what your savings will look like across two decades rather than two months--small savings can travel a long way and make a huge difference across your neighborhood and even the globe.
Just by clipping small pieces of paper.
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