But I would be remiss if I didn't share the thoughts in my mind, especially since this new endeavor of mine has really started to grow.
I got my first credit card at the age of 18. For the first few months I was very careful and paid everything off. Then I got a Macy's (back then it was The Bon Marche) card, a Mervyn's card, a Target card, and a JC Pennies card. After a couple of years I'd wracked up some hefty bills, though nothing as bad as some horror stories I've read.
At the height of my credit card debt I think I was around $5,000 (this doesn't include car, student loans, and now home debt). When I got married we bought a house and both had several credit cards. We finally made the decision to refinance our (fairly newly purchased) house in order to pay off our credit card debt, install new windows, and install a new fireplace (to replace the horrible gas furnace sitting in the living room).
And we kept the debt off for awhile. We still used the credit cards and for some time kept them paid off in full. But of course it is easier and easier to pay with credit. So we refinanced again and paid them all off. Again. *sigh* And I started to notice that our balances are slowly creeping up again every month.
Needless to say we have not been supremely smart with our money in the past few years. Hubby has the mentality that we make it so we should spend it. He wants the latest and greatest toys and wants to "enjoy" life (as he puts it). I am more like my father. I like to save. But I also am my mother's daughter and when the urge strikes I can spend with the best of them. I decided that we really need to take a concerted effort to do more to save our money and build up our emergency fund.
Entrecard has led to new discoveries for me. And it may just lead to a new lifestyle. I have found some amazing blogs out there that focus on savings and reducing debt.
Some Favorites and Daily Reads:
- Sense to Save
- Frugal Dad
- Debt Free Revolution
- Gather Little by Little
- The Bag Lady
- My Investing Blog
- The Money Kings
- Frugal Shopping with Julie
Yesterday was my first real attempt at using coupons when grocery shopping. I'm not an expert at this but I was pretty proud of myself. I saved over $35 with coupons and sale items! And that $35 is going to go into my ING savings account. I'm paying myself. I'll write about the details later.
You also may have noticed some affiliate links to the right. I debated with myself (lots of internal dialog going on here) about those as well. I use all the services and enjoy them so it's not like I'm trying to pimp these businesses without any personal experience. I'm getting a kick out of eBates - hubby wanted to order a beanie from Under Armor and I wouldn't let him until I checked to see if they were an eBates store (they are!). So we'll get 3% back on a purchase that he would have made anyway. Woohoo!
What are you doing to save? And what will you do with the savings? Buy jewelry I hope! *grin* Or start an emergency fund? Everyone should have one. Ours is woefully small.