Money-Saving Lessons from a Single Mom
I was appalled at her suggestion that I may not always love “New Kids on the Block” and promised her that day would never come. Well, here I am over 20 years later, and I can tell you I no longer like “New Kids on the Block!” My mom was right (I know she loves those words).
The bed set purchase wasn’t really practical, and neither was my bright idea to buy a convertible for my first car. My mom reminded me that we lived in Seattle, and I would likely only be able to put the top down a few times a year. She suggested I get a car with a sunroof instead. I did just that and was able to open my sunroof many more times that I would have been able to put a convertible top down.
So many people spend money on things that aren’t practical and aren’t really worth the money they cost.
Don’t Get Wrapped Up in Image
As a teenager, I desperately wanted brand name clothes so I could “fit in.” Unfortunately brand name clothes came with a brand name price tag, which usually wasn’t in the budget. Going without designer brands made me realize that I could still have fun and have quality friendships without putting on a brand name image.
Now as an adult, I am not concerned about “Keeping up with the Joneses.” I’ve learned that life is more important than that, and furthermore, financial freedom is more important than trying to look a certain part.
The Clearance Rack
For as long as I can remember, as soon as I walk into a clothing store, I skip past most of the merchandise in the front and head straight to the back of the store to hit up the clearance racks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased a shirt for $3 or a pair of shoes for $5. I go through clothes pretty quickly because I like to change up my wardrobe quite a bit, so I like that I can get multiple clearance shirts for the price of one regular price shirt. In fact, I can probably count on one hand the times I’ve paid full price for an article of clothing, and yet I love my clothes and feel they are as stylish as any of the full price items. I also shop at discount stores where the full prices are very reasonable. In those cases I won’t necessarily stick to the sale and clearance racks.
I must admit -- when I first got married and started grocery shopping for the two of us, I refused to use coupons because they were such a hassle. I figured we had two incomes, so I didn’t really need to coupon clip. After a while, I realized how silly I was for throwing away money. We had debt we needed to pay off and a savings account to build up so all the extra money could definitely help!
I started subscribing to our local Sunday newspaper so I could get all the coupons (which I still do to this day). I also find coupons online for many products. And whenever I shop online, I always search for “coupon code” plus whatever website I’m buying from to try to find an online coupon. Most of the time this quick search saves me more money! And recently I discovered that most restaurants in my area (including fast food restaurants) offer coupons and discounts via e-mail if you sign up for their e-mail lists. Many will even offer you a substantial discount on your birthday.
In addition to clipping coupons from our local Sunday paper, I also look through all the store ads and take note of the best prices for the things we need to buy. I also compare prices online. My mom would hardly make a purchase without making sure she was getting the best price she could on it.