Do you have a hard time saving money? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, I’m right there with you. Especially this time of year. Our oldest begins school in August. We all know that schools start asking for money at the beginning of the year. She hasn’t been in school a month, yet. They’ve already sent home over 10 items requesting money for fundraisers, class activities, field trips, and so on.
Her birthday is also in August. It seems as if EVERYTHING begins right around the beginning of August for our family. But, August isn’t the only month we have a hard time saving money. We also struggle once the holiday season hits. We’re spending money for gifts, holiday cheer, extra food, and work parties.
Our sons birthday is also in October. Which is, of course, smack dab in the middle of August and the holiday season. My wallet — and head — feels the pain during this time.
I can’t completely blame it on the timing, though. After all, I’ve had a YEAR to prepare for the events. I KNEW they were coming. But, I just have a really hard time saving money.
I’ve always been the type to not really think about clipping coupons, looking for deals, or anything of that nature. That is until our household went from two incomes to one. We’re actually approaching our one year anniversary of being a one income family. I’ll admit, it hasn’t been easy. But, it HAS taught my a valuable lesson about saving money.
With such a hard time saving money, it was imperative I learned how to manage money. If not, we would have sunk. Now, I’ll be real with you. I still had a hard time in the beginning. I was still living life like we had two incomes. Not even having our power shut off stopped me. I was relentless and it was sad.
Thankfully, my kids, like they always do, came in and made me see things in a different light. My daughter had an appointment with an eye doctor. She was having a hard time seeing the board at school. That’s when we found out she needed glasses. Now, most of the time insurance takes care of the whole bill besides the co-pay. So, because money was tight — and I was relentless — all I was able to pay was the co-pay. Unfortunately, this visit required more than a co-pay.
Her insurance wouldn’t cover the whole cost of the glasses. We had to make a payment before the glasses could even be ordered. I didn’t have the money. I wouldn’t have the money until the following week. This is when one simple thought crossed my mind. If I didn’t have such a hard time saving money, I’d be able to pay for the glasses today.
My kids shouldn’t have to suffer because I suck at handling money. Their health especially shouldn’t have to suffer. From that day on I literally changed my spending habits around. Now, I proudly wear the “coupon clipping” title. Before I shop, I look for any deal I can find. It takes more time out of the day. The end result is so worth it though.
Before I changed my bad spending habits around, online shopping was not my thing. If I wanted something, I wanted it now. The last thing I wanted to do was wait for something to ship. Then, on top of my impatience, I was also paranoid. What if someone stole my payment information? I could pay for a package and I’d never see it. What if I buy something and it’s not what I ordered?! Then I have to wait AGAIN! (My previous attitude is killing me right now.)
Don’t get me wrong. Scams do happen. People can get your information and go spend all of your money. Although, they wouldn’t have got much from me. But, they can happen anywhere. Online, offline, and even in your own home. Plus, I’ve came to realize credit card companies and businesses are super awesome when you’re a victim of a scam.
Online shopping became my saving grace. I’m not even exaggerating. As long as I planned ahead for the things I needed, waiting was so easy. I no longer had to suffer through holiday shopping traffic with two screaming kids in the backseat. I was able to see my total BEFORE I checkout. That’s great, especially when you’re working on a budget. There’s no more embarrassing “I need to put that back”, when you can’t afford something.
The best part?! I was no longer having a hard time saving money. Instead, I am saving more money than I’ve ever had in the past. Because, ya’ll, there are SO many available apps and websites dedicated to saving you money. The internet makes it super easy to price match, too.
One website I use on a regular basis is Groupon. They have thousands and thousands of merchants on board. Including two of my favorites, Target and Shutterfly. Finding them on Groupon literally made my life! I’m saving money on school clothes, supplies, birthday invitations, family holiday cards, and everything in between. Groupon has so many great coupons and deals available for both. Who am I kidding?! They have so many great deals available for so many retailers right now.
So, from one parent to another, don’t feel alone if you have a hard time saving money. You’re not alone. You may not be able to solve it in one day. Maybe you’ll never be able to solve the way you handle money. I think you’re still a great parent! But, I’d like to suggest one thing. If you DO have a hard time saving money, learning how to manage it better will change your life around. You will be so surprised at all the extra you can get without the extra guilt.
P.S. – Groupon has an awesome coupon available on their website right now! You’ll have to check it out for yourself here. But, I’ll give you a little hint. Saving 50% on some very memorable items may make you cry tears of happiness.