Today, I wrote a post for the blog Go Go Grays Harbor about the economics of buying local. Living in a small town has made it more difficult to buy local, strangely enough, but I seem to make it work. I've also been developing some not so common financial rules to live by in my head. Might as well start writing them down.
1. Stop using coupons.
Have you seen that crazy show about coupon hoarders? I can't stand it. They might be getting awesome deals, but who in the world needs 200 bottles of gatorade?! Even if it cost you only $5 for those... that's $5 you could have just kept in your bank account because you have no real need for gatorade. There, I've said it.
I realize that I am somewhat unique in this world of mass-consumption because I favor simplicity and minimalism, but I'm just saying it might be something that more people could embrace which might lead to more savings and more intentional spending.
So, my theory is that you should never buy something with a coupon. Not that you shouldn't buy things that are on sale, but you shouldn't buy them BECAUSE they are on sale. Do you eat bananas every day? Yes? Oh and they're on sale this week? Great! Do you eat Hostess Cupcakes everyday? No? They're on sale this week? Step away from the packaged sugar bomb.
I think that if you're willing to pay full-price for something, it's probably something you actually really really want and/or need.
People around my town always complain that there's nowhere to shop local, but I think that what they actually mean is that they can't find massive amounts of things they don't really need or want but are on sale.
I used to always shop in the sale section of clothing stores and I'd come home with a ton of clothes, many of which either fell apart after being washed. Or I realized I didn't even like it in the first place but can't return it because it was on sale... oi. It makes me cringe to think about the money lost in those moments. With all that money back, I could probably buy myself a new floppy hat and a boat and live the rest of my life on some beach in Mexico.
So, tip #1: No coupons. If you don't want to pay full price, don't buy it.