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Stuttering Shell: me & my money.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

me & my money.

Thank you to TurboTax for sponsoring my writing about household finances.Learn more about how TurboTax can help you find every tax deduction you deserve. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

i was never destined to work in the financial industry.  never.  me & my money?  we have this oil-water relationship. okay, it's more like a 'i have some money so now i need to spend it' kind of a relationship.  yes, i am that girl who always, always, always has money burning a hole in her pocket.  wait, let me rephrase that because that statement suggests that i always have money which is such a lie.

life would be mucho bueno if i had one of these in my backyard:


wouldn't it be nice to walk out into the yard & pick crisp ones, fives and maybe even fifties off of a tree?  yeah, keep dreaming.

i've written about money before.  i've talked about my credit card debt.  i've shared a recession-themed money song.  i've blogged with wonder about people who can pinch & save.  i've even shared my son's thoughts about his father's wallet.  am i still in debt?  yes.  am i still trying to save?  yes.  am i still wondering how people can buy month's worth of groceries {with coupons} but only pay a nickel?  hells yes.

perhaps i'm not the proper person to be dishing out financial advice, but let me just share a few things that i have discovered about myself while navigating this long, winding, seemingly confusing financial road that i'm on...

watching programs hosted by those big financial gurus is humbling, but it's always reassuring to know that you're not alone.  everyone has a financial issue of some sort.  also, remember that the financial guru's 'sound advice' might not work for you - each financial situation is unique - so adjust & make accommodations for yourself.

going 'cash only' is hard.  so is giving up credit cards.  for the record, i've done neither.

it's okay if you don't religiously clip coupons.  i don't.  i have every good intention of shopping only with coupons, but rarely does that happen.  and, as for the crazy coupon deals like triples or super doubles?  take advantage of them, but don't go nuts.  i mean, do you really need 53946498576 bottles of shampoo just because it was on sale & you had coupons?  no.  but, when chicken quarters go on sale for $0.39 per pound you had best believe that i am that crazy lady who stocks up her deep freeze.  for reals.

if you're trying to get out of debt {like i have been & still am}, don't be afraid to ask for help.  we took advantage of our bank's debt management program for a couple of years.  it was wonderful for helping us get our finances back on track.  oh, call your creditors, too.  sometimes a simple phone call goes a long way.

generic does not equal poor or lesser means you're spending less money!  we are all about some generic or store brand items in our household.  of course, i have things that i will not skimp on {like my skin care routine} and that's okay.

i'm not the impulse shopper that i once was.  i find myself scouring websites for the best deal.  i participate in online deal/shopping sites like ebates, groupon & living social.  i encourage you do to the same if you're not already.

i also am not afraid of thrift stores nor am i materialistic.  when you're broke, you just can't be.

do you ebay?  i do.  don't be ashamed to sell stuff you have laying around the house for some money.  i paid off a credit card that way.  i also donate clothing & home goods often.

i could go on & on, but i suppose the one thing that i have truly learned is that less really is more.  last year my family took a severe financial hit.  we went from two nice incomes to one mediocre income {among other things}.  we've learned to survive on less.  we are happy with less.  when you have more or make more, you tend to spend more.

sure, you can't take your money with you {you  know, when your number is up}, but can you take all of the crap you bought with your money?  nope.

**remember, i'm not a financial guru. learn from my mistakes.  take comfort in the fact that you & i may be in similar financial situations.  you're not alone.  neither am i.  one day, we'll both be out of debt, but in the meantime...look out for those chicken quarter specials.

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Blogger rachel said...

i like this post a lot. especially since i started my blog (about coupons, coincidentally), i've realized that the more coupons i use, the more i spend. i was feeling rather convicted earlier this week about the coupons affecting my wallet (& my waist)! i think the smartest way is how you do it - using them here & there. in the end, it's time you're paying for.

Jan 19, 2011, 7:29:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Very good advice Shell! ;) everyone can live on less-we all (for the most part) spend too much.

Jan 19, 2011, 8:25:00 PM  

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