Friday, January 20, 2012

Dolla Dolla Bill Y'all

Last week was huge for me- I completely paid off my credit card.
It left a total of $100 in my checking account.
By the time I bought gas and a prescription at the drug store, I was down to $45.
I was bound and determined NOT to use my credit card, so that gave me only $45 to spend for an entire week until my next payday. 

Yesterday, the day before I got paid, I had $11 left in my account! For the math impaired, that means I only spent $34 in 7 days!

Okay, the truth of the matter is this: The day after I announced my $45 weekly budget, I illegally parked in downtown Raleigh and was fined $30 for parking in a No Parking Zone. I still have yet to pay that fine, so I did not subtract that amount from my $45 budget.

Also, I have a wonderful boyfriend and wonderful parents who bought dinner for me on Friday and Saturday night. (Love you dearly).

But, essentially, I myself only spent $34 in one week.

With my small budget, I was actually able to have an exciting weekend, visit new places, purchase cleaning supplies, buy groceries, and cook three meals. Of course I had to make a few sacrifices, such as bringing leftovers to work for lunch, but it definitely paid off in the end! I was actually able to put a large part of my paycheck into my SAVINGS account today, since I had no credit card amount to pay down!

Many of you have heard me say this before, but Dave Ramsey can change your life. So can the book "The Millionaire Next Door." Or basically any book, website, or financial adviser that will tell you this: 

Stop Spending.

A person with a six-figure salary is poor if they spend all of his/her money. 
The majority of people driving luxury cars are in debt. 
The status symbols that typically indicate someone's wealth are actually better predictors of someone's debt.

While I doubt I'll ever be coupon-crazy, I've lately become very frugal (not by choice, but by necessity). I decided I would share with you a few reasonable and realistic tips that will hopefully help you to save more money. These tips will be on the blog every Friday.

Unlike Dave Ramsey (who will tell you to eat Beans and Weenies until you pay down your debt), I'm always realistic about what I am willing/unwilling to sacrifice. 

Today's Tip
Shop at the dollar store. 

Everything pictured below came from the Dollar Tree, totaling $8. While you can't expect to get everything at the dollar store, the prices are unbeatable. For many items, the quality is comparable to name-brand items you would find at Walmart.  They even carry some name-brand items (Sargento Cheese? Yes, please).

I've heard that many dollar stores, such as Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, have made significant upgrades and are now strong competitors to other low-cost stores. The dollar store I went to was very big, and offered everything from party supplies, to groceries, to housekeeping products.

Even though I had to make a trip to Food Lion to buy the remainder of my stuff, it was worth the extra trip to the dollar store to save a lot of money. And now I have glass cleaner that will last for the next year...or two!

If you are willing to make an extra stop at the dollar store, I guarantee you will reap the rewards of extra savings!

2 comments:

  1. Karen Holmes1/20/2012

    I feel like I'm stalking you because I always comment on your blog, haha. But I totally agree! The Dollar Store is awesome and I went there ALL the time when I was living in my house at Elon. We don't have Dollar Stores in New York :( I guess they really can't survive there though because it would probably need to be the $8 Dollar Store in order to pay the building rent. Oh and The Millionaire Next Door is a GREAT read. Jeff just finished it and I just started; everything is so true and such great advice for young adults in this economy. Keep writing...I'll keep reading and creepily commenting :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kelly Lawrence1/20/2012

    Karen, I love your comments!!! Keep 'em coming!!!! I loved The Millionaire Next Door-it is really good advice and definitely an eye-opener!

    ReplyDelete