Saturday, June 23, 2007
I may not be a stock broker or a super fancy Oppenheimer Wealth Manager. I am, however, the manager of my own personal wealth, the mistress of my checking account, the Buddha of my hard earned money.
When I was growing up, my parents were in the supermarket business. For a good ten years of our lives my brothers and I were stock boys, managers, cashiers, inventory clerks, accountants, etc because not only did we have to learn the value of the dollar by earning our allowance, but we had to learn our family's business because "you never know".
Lately, it seems like I've been spending a lot of time teaching people the importance of protecting their credit, paying their bills on time and when/where possible saving money. I am not a cheap person by any means but it bothers me to no end having to spend money unnecessarily. In supermarket speak this translates to: I buy my food with the credit card that gives me 5% cash back, I buy certain items generic (who needs to pay twice as much for Scotch Brite sponges?), I believe in sales items and I use manufacturer's coupons.
Say what you will but it's bad enough that I live in an area where the fine people of Publix feel the need to make everything twice as expensive just because they can. I find that unnecessary.
Yesterday I went grocery shopping with Vilma (the unofficial roommate). Before we left the house, I finished writing my list (because I ALWAYS make a list) and I grabbed all the coupons we needed for the items we were buying. Vilma laughs at me. She laughs at me a lot actually because she finds a lot of the things I do just a little weird.
"Ana, why do you iron your sheets?"
"Ana, why do you keep your cigarettes in the fridge?"
"Ana, why do you change your towels 3 times a week?"
"Ana, why don't you get all your cold cuts when you go food shopping instead of going to the supermarket every other day?"
The fact of the matter is that the whole way to the supermarket we had a deep discussion as to whether or not food coupons actually save you money or if that's just another tool supplied by society to make you look like an idiot in front of other people.
We did our shopping...caught a few items on sale...used our perfectly cut little coupons during check out...Manufacturer's Coupons: $18.50 Total: $152.86 You saved: $42.36
I didn't look like an idiot, I saved some good money and as if that weren't enough Vilma took me out to dinner because "I saved us 40 bucks".