Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shop and Save

I was reading Liz in DC’s blog this morning and was intrigued by the “don’t go over in October” challenge she found over at Ms. Career Girl’s blog.

After I commented with “I have a shopping problem BUT I NEVER spend more than I can afford, so is it really a problem?

I realized that no, it’s not a problem, because I make smart shopping choices.

I should explain myself. As much as I love to shop, I am good with money and I love to see my savings grow, so I live by a few simple rules:

  • NEVER buy anything you cannot afford. This includes eating out, buying fancy groceries, going to the movies, buying cars, and spending money in general.
  • ALWAYS pay credit cards and all bills ON TIME, IN FULL
  • Whenever I have $1000 in checking that I know is surplus and not necessary to the months bills I move it into savings.
  • I almost always use a credit card. It is very easy for me to spend cash and then I have no idea what I did with it. Get a credit card that not only rewards you for using it but sends you a summary at the end of the year of all expenses.
    • I happen to have the Amazon Visa card and I LOVE IT!
    • The end of the year summary tells you how much you spent in gas, food, clothing, home repair, entertainment and lots more over the course of the entire year and helps with budgeting purposes.

My last bit of advice is if you have no other debt and you have the resources, invest in a home. Real estate will always make you money if you buy wisely, wait out economic down turns, and only make those repairs which will increase the value of your home.

I have now lived through almost an entire year of mortgage payments and although I thought the bills would kill me and I would never be able to do anything ever again I am here to tell you that when it came to money my lifestyle did not change when I bought a home.

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