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Saving and Spending #ReasonstoSave

I think my love of saving money started with my grandmother and mother. I remember as a little kid-

Here I am with my sister Em (left) and me, 1981.

I would ask my mom “Why are you cutting out those coupons?” She would respond that she was saving our family money by cutting down on our grocery bill every month. I started cutting out coupons at the age of 10. Plus sending in rebates and cutting out upc's to send in for those free toys that were advertised on the cereal boxes. My grandma Esther was also a coupon clipper, but she also saved money by growing their own vegetables, hunting in their woods and crocheting and knitting hats, gloves etc.

My Dad was also very frugal and we didn't have a VCR, video games, or a computer! He was old-fashioned and cared more about saving money and making sure his family had a secure future. I remember instead of buying a new car, he would fix up the car we had. He was a great mechanic and kept the cars running for a long time.

As I got older, I got away from coupons and as a poor college student, I found myself getting into credit card debt, trying to keep up with the Jones in college and afford books and tuition. I had several friends in college who had much more liquid spending cash than me but I still tried to keep up. Whether it was Nine West shoes, Bath and Body Works shopping sprees or just going out to eat, my debt increased. As I neared graduation, I realized I had to clean up my act! Here I am with my Grandma Esther and sister Em, 1995:

Grandma would always advise me to pay off my debt, especially school loans and save for the future. She wrote me letters all the time and gave such great advice. She has since passed away in 2003 and I still have all her letters and love to re-read them for her great advice!

Now as a 36 year old mom and wife, with a son and husband, I have become really good at saving money, enough that I am able to stay home with my son and make a full-time income from my web site, Savingsmania.com. I started this web site back in 2003, before blogging was so common! It has been such an awesome adventure to meet other money-saving bloggers and we all learn from each other. So what am I saving for now?

-        Fully paid for college for my son Cam

-        My dream home, complete with in-ground pool and 5-10 acres of land

-        A trip to Europe


And did you know??

• The overwhelming majority of Americans dramatically underestimate the amount they can save through couponing.  Not one respondent was aware that couponing could save as much as $10,000 annually.

• Nearly half of respondents age 18-34 said they feel responsible when they use coupons.  

• The top five emotions felt after using a coupon were: satisfaction, happiness, smart, responsible and accomplished; one in five consumers said they feel victorious after using coupons.

• Female couponers are 20% more likely than their male counterparts to receive emotional satisfaction from using coupons (69% vs. 57%). 

• Groceries or personal hygiene products, dining and clothing were identified as top areas where people most want coupons.

• Respondents list vacation, growing family and new home as their top reasons for saving longterm.

• With an additional $10,000 each year, the majority (35%) of those surveyed said they would use it toward a vacation.

I 'd love to hear what you are saving for!

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