We are inundated with coupons.
Merchants use them for effective marketing.
But many have an expiration date on them.
Wise shoppers clip coupons for only what they use – or might use.
If you happen to need that can of artichokes before the coupon expires, you put a few cents in your pocket when you buy it, using the coupon.
But here’s the reward: if you didn’t need it before the coupon expires, you put the entire cost of the item back in your pocket, and throw the coupon away.
As you do, do you feel as if you’ve thrown THE VALUE of the coupon away, or have you saved money by not buying the item?
If you have storage space in your home, you could have bought the artichokes at the coupon price and stored them until you needed them. That would have been wise, if you could do it.
Or, you could shop several stores and see what artichokes go for. If you find them below the coupon price at a store that won’t take your coupon, the shopping effort is worth it, providing you won’t see your savings burned up in gasoline to get to that other store.
The point here is that when you buy things you use, there are ways to save lots of money with a little effort. Countless people don’t bother to use coupons. They can’t be bothered clipping them. They throw lots of money away. Over years, those little, unused savings add up. They might even mean the difference between retiring at, say, 60, and having to work until, say, 70.
Saving money is not rocket science, but you have to devote some time. Very few people go into the first car dealer they see to buy a car. Very few people would have a Realtor take them to look at one house, and buy it on the spot. But we seem to think that a penny here, a nickel there, a dime over here makes no difference in our lives.
LITTLE THINGS, BIG PICTURE
This is where little things form a big picture. It’s OK to clip a coupon and throw it away. Obviously, you didn’t need the item when it was on sale. You may know people who will buy something JUST BECAUSE it’s on sale. They’ll take it home, and maybe they will figure out how they can use it.
Know what you use, and buy only what you use!
By the way, electronics are usually big-ticket items. One could go broke keeping up with the trends in gadgets. Have you ever met a person who will cheap out and cover over a roof leak only with shingles, and not replace the wood underneath, but has every electronic gadget imaginable inside their homes?
These are misplaced priorities. Do you have your spending priorities straight? That will go a long way to a great life.
If you are a careful shopper, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Check out the plethora of big savings, and little ones. You’ll also see a way to earn potentially a lot of money.
The next time you see a person down on his luck, and you feel comfortable giving that person advice, ask him whether he knows where every penny of what he earns goes. Chances are, he does not. He spends without thinking, much of the time. Those who spend carefully may not have every trendy thing, but they have what they need – and much of what they might want. Little actions, multiplied over time, can pay big dividends.
We are inundated with coupons.