Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ways to Save your Loot

I've always been serious beyond my years as far as trying to make wise decisions for myself so that my life can be easy and so that I can have nice things; and I’ve always had this sense of entitlement. I feel like I deserve lots of things and none of the ‘things’ I feel I deserve are cheap. My life would be easier if I came down off my high horse, but NO! I am Louise Cazley and I deserve good things!

To have good things, you need money. And to have money, you need to stop spending. And to stop spending, you need to suppress all shopping addictions, focus on what you need and not want you want.

Once I decide that I am saving, I become the cheapest individual alive. I take self control to an extreme level, but it’s for me so it’s for a good cause. Here are a few steps I have taken to help myself save.

I Ignore Sale Prices
I used to buy something not because I wanted or needed it, but because it was on sale. This is the fastest way to clutter your home with things you will never ever use. Now, before purchasing something I ask myself where I am going to put the item, what am I going to use the item for or what am I going to wear the item with and if I can’t come up with an answer, I leave the item in the store.

I Stopped Shopping
Although my shopping addiction is currently dormant, it is still alive and thriving, just waiting for the summer fashions to hit stores (I love dresses!) so that it can unleash itself in me. Despite my pulsating addiction, I made the decision to stop shopping.

This fall I gave away FIVE hefty garbage bags of clothes to Grow NYC - Wearable Collections. I gave MULTIPLE bags of clothing to multiple friends and I still have enough clothing to never ever shop again and remain fashionable for the rest of my life. Giving away so much of my clothes was a sickening wake up call and it's amazing just how much money you can save when you aren't blowing your money on things you don’t need.

I Don’t Pay Full Price
I won't pay full price for anything if I can help it. I’ve become a collector of Bed Bath and Beyond’s coupons which you can use on everything in their store. They even accept expired coupons and I’ve heard that they also accept coupons from Buy Buy Baby. Most people don’t know that Bed Bath and Beyond has a pharmacy section which includes hair products, baby products, facial products, feminine products, vitamins, pain killers, makeup and everything else that you would image a pharmacy to have. I use my coupons for all of the above.

I Shop with my Credit Card
Shopping with a credit card sounds like it’s defeating the purpose of saving but if you have a credit card with a good rewards program like American Express your rewards can end up paying for your purchases. If you have a Gap, Old Navy or Banana Republic card, you also receive coupons in the mail in addition to their 10% off Tuesdays. And if you use your coupon on a Tuesday, you end up paying next to nothing for your purchase.

I Bring Food to Work
Although Stage Door Deli gives me the hook up, taking advantage is the fastest way to lose a hook up. So on days when Stage Door isn’t delivering catering to the office, I bring my own lunch. Instead of buying breakfast everyday, I buy milk and I keep a box of cereal and a box of oatmeal packets at my desk. for days when I decide to eat breakfast; and I'm a tea drinker so instead of buying a cup of tea everyday, I bring a box of 100 tea bags, which is the same price as two cups of tea.

Happy Hour Specials
Saving money doesn’t mean that you have to give up your social life, but going out to dinner in NYC can get expensive. Happy hour specials have become my best friend and at places like Havanna 27, Jin and Patois, you can end up spending as little as $12 for dinner and drinks.

Salon Specials
I’m not a mani-pedi girl, but I HAVE TO have my hair and eyebrows done. HAVE TO!! My hair salon has a special on Mon-Wed so I try to go on those days, but lately the last thing I feel like doing is sitting in a salon after I have been sitting at work all day. I noticed that the wash-set-blow dry price is the same on the weekend as it is during the week, but the relaxer is $5 more on the weekend than it is during the week and this is where I splurge. Every six/seven weeks, I pay $5 more for a relaxer than I would on Monday – Wednesday just so that I don’t have to sit in the salon during the week. That’s a splurge that I think I can handle.

My brow salon has a discount card that gets signed for each visit and every 10th eyebrow visit is free. I like to keep my brows thick so this is a once a month visit.

No Late Fees, No Interest
Until a recent doctor visit, which I thought would be covered entirely by insurance, I didn’t owe anybody any money. That bill was a huge surprise, but thank God for payment plans. Soon it will vanish and I won’t owe anything to anyone again.

I’m too cheap for late fees and interest. They are a waste of your money. Pay your bills on time, pay in full if you can and try not to buy things that you can’t afford.

I love sharing so nothing I do on this blog is solely for me. Hopefully some of my tips rub off on you and maybe you have some saving tips to share with me!

To making the most of what we earn!!

Happy saving!

~Louise C.

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