As I’m writing this, I just got back from the grocery store. I had a 5% off coupon good for my entire purchase (with some exceptions, of course). The coupon was set to expire on 12/25, and I wasn’t sure when I would have time to do a serious shop before then, so when the free time came up, I decided to start a grocery list.
While 5% off isn’t a whole lot, I wanted to get as much use out of it as possible without using it as an excuse to buy things that I normally wouldn’t buy. Instead, I decided to use this as a chance to stock up on a few things, items that wouldn’t expire and that would definitely get used. I made a list and hit the store. Surprisingly, the one time I’m going with a plan to spend money is the one time that I just barely cross $100. I stocked up on frozen goods, soup, cereal, and cat litter, among other things. Nothing too exciting. I just wanted to be sure that I didn’t splurge on any other items, and I think that’s how I kept the bill low.
So while I saved about $10 with the 5% coupon and other coupons, I think I inadvertently taught myself a lesson about being careful about what I put into my shopping cart when I hit the store.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.