Friday, April 8, 2011
Hints for Making that Dollar Bill Stretch
A dollar bill is 6.14 inches long and 2.61 inches wide. The average annual cost for a year at college is roughly $18,000. If you take all 18,000 of those dollar bills and lay them end to end, it would stretch the length of 30 football fields. That’s roughly 1.74 miles of dollar bills!
So how do you make that bill stretch further? I would suggest talking to your multi-billionaire uncle George. Unfortunately, not many of us have multi-billionaire uncles which is why intelligent mothers around the country have become expert “coupon clippers”. This is a hobby that could save college students hundreds of dollars each year.
Here are my top 10 college coupon clipping clues:
1. Keep track of prices. You might consider making a list of things you buy and how much they cost. Familiarizing yourself with product prices will help you recognize deals when they pop up.
2. No more coupon tossing! Start a personal collection of coupons earned through careful newspaper perusing and online searching. Keep them organized by expiration date so you don’t miss out on a great deal.
3. Make a grocery list of things you need. Although this isn’t necessarily a coupon-clipping tip, it is a good practice to help prevent you from buying things you don’t need. Once you have made that grocery list, stick to it!
4. Don’t buy something you won’t use for the coupon’s sake. It isn’t necessary to cash in on every deal on the planet. If you hate root beer, don’t let a good coupon persuade you to buy it. Again, it is helpful to make and use a shopping list when you’re out and about.
5. Store up! Many deals benefit those that buy large quantities. It may be a little tough finding room for 6 bags of fruit loops while you’re living in the dorms, but it will greatly benefit your bank account to stock up on the food you eat.
6. Keep an eye on the cashier to make sure he or she remembers to include your discounts. If they forget, be assertive but kind in reminding them of your coupons or other deals. Often a kind word can help a forgetful cashier remember to give you the discounts you were counting on.
7. Work towards a goal. Sifting through newspapers and Web pages for coupons then cutting them out is pretty exhausting work. Saving money for the sake of saving money is always good, but if you have a goal for that extra cash you’ll have on hand, it helps maintain your motivation when your fingers are tired of pumping those scissors.
8. Keep track of how much you save. Again, it is easy to become weary of the time you spend seeking out the best deals. Writing down how much money you are saving again helps you maintain motivation when you are sick of rummaging through newspapers. It is also a good principle of accounting that helps you keep track of your finances.
9. Become a “valued” member. Many stores and companies have special programs or cards for loyal customers that offer special discounts that you couldn’t get otherwise. Seeking out these programs can save you a ton in the long run.
10. Stay ethical. Get all of the discounts possible from coupons and deals, but don’t violate store policies. Saving money is good but being honest is better.
Coupon clipping is a hobby that is not only rewarding but practical. The wise financial skills you learn in college will help you throughout your whole life as you learn to hunt down the best deals.
About the Author
Derek Gurr is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online courses and online schools they can choose from to reach their goals.