Coupon Savings…..What Now?

So you tried this coupon thing out and you have seen results.  What do you do with the savings?  If you’re human and you’re not careful it will quickly get away from you.  You need a specific plan for your savings.  I suggest you use an envelope for your grocery spending.  You withdraw the cash amount for your grocery spending out of your checking account.  You put it in an envelope.  At the end of your pay period any remaining cash goes toward a specific financial need.  The financial term for directing this money is called snowflaking (taking extra to tackle other expenses).  Below are the steps I suggest you take regarding your savings.

Step 1: Bring any past due debts current.  You must get all accounts caught up and in good standing.  Being behind on debts is a vulnerable place and shoring this up is a first priority.

Step 2: Fund your emergency fund ($1000).  This is Baby Step 1 of Dave Ramsey’s 7 step plan for financial success.  For more information on this program visit www.daveramsey.com.  You simply must have money set aside to handle the unexpected.  I recommend this money be deposited in a separate online savings account such as www.ingdirect.com.  The account can be linked to your current checking account for convenient transfer (2-3 days). The rate at this site is higher than those you find at your local bank.

3) Fund Your Fun.  After you’ve completed steps 1 & 2 you can focus on some fun.  You deserve some reward for the discipline of completing steps 1 & 2.  I recommend a vacation that meets the criteria in my previous post titled: “A Vacation Worth Taking.” 

There is little benefit to couponing if you don’t properly track your savings.  I hope you invest the time and energy to follow these steps.  You cannot get head financially unless you follow these steps in order.  Have a fun and frugal week!

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