Tag Archives: Extreme Couponing

I finally paid off my ACS student loans!

4 Mar

freedom

It seemed impossible. Paying off over $55,000 in student loan debt $409 a month at a time. But then something happened. My student loans got tossed around from CFS to Chase and then back to ACS, my original loan company.

I realized then that I could either suffer and stress out over the next twenty years, or I could go on a crash financial diet and lose the weight of my ACS student loan off my shoulders once and for all.

I started this crash financial diet a little over three years ago. Here’s what I did:

  • Closed my credit cards down, except for my AMEX. 

visa-card

  • Extreme couponing. I got my binder, clipped my coupons, and studied blogs like hip2save.com, southernsavers.com, and wesusecoupons.com I got so good, I was getting tons of stuff for free or making money from buying certain items and I grew my own stockpile.

coupons

  • I stopped buying clothes for almost a year. And I stopped going to malls.

windowshopping

  • I cancelled our Costco membership.

costco

  • I worked my ass off. I networked on LinkedIn and made sure my profile was updated regularly. I’m a freelance copywriter, so I took every gig I was offered and worked hard. I put 100% into every job. And agencies kept calling me back. I worked morning, afternoon, and late into the night. Sometimes well past midnight.

coffee

  • I socked away 30% for taxes. And then I saved and saved and saved. Two years ago, I slapped down $27,000 in a single payment to ACS. The instant I did that, the coolest thing happened. The amount towards my principal changed. Before when I sent a $409 payment, $300 would go towards interest. Now $300 for every payment was going towards principal. Every time I made additional money, I sent additional payments. Sometimes, it was just an extra $100. And sometimes, it was an extra $2,000. I basically let go of the money before I had the chance to enjoy it. I knew it was meant to do more than buy the latest purse.

money-mattress1

  • I continued to work like crazy. And just sent my final payment 10 minutes ago!

Image

Doing this crash financial diet was hard. You have no idea how hard it was not to go buy a car or go on a fancy trip or go shopping for purses and new pretty shoes. But the end result is worth all of it. I saved about $60,000 in interest and shaved off 15 years off of my student loans.

RehobothBeachSandCastle

 

So what next? I figured if I could conquer my student loans, why not conquer my house? My goal: pay my house off in less than 10 years. We’ll see.

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What if non-profits hired Extreme Couponers?

24 Jun

Similac $5 coupon

I’ve been couponing for about 6 months now. And in that short time, I have learned how to amass a stockpile where a lot of the items didn’t cost me any money, just my time. It’s definitely a learning curve as I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but thankfully, I haven’t given up. And it’s paying off.

Just today, I bought $160 worth of groceries for $28. My haul included free salads, free toothpaste, free chocolate candy, free shampoo, free conditioner and even free canned vegetables. I was running low on items, because we’ve either donated items to the nearby homeless shelter or friends and family on assisted living. And doing all of this got me thinking, non-profits should hire Extreme Couponers.

I mean really, it should be an entirely new job category. Couponing has taught me that you can pretty much get anything for free–from baby formula and food to office supplies like paper reams and tape to paper goods like paper towels and napkins. And then of course, there’s always free or next-to-nothing cleaning products like hand soap, cleansers and let’s not forget magic erasers ( I think I have like 10 boxes.) 

My point is imagine how much farther people’s donations would go if non-profits and shelters hired Extreme Couponers. I bought a two months supply of Similac formula (30 quarters, 20 cans, 1 tub) for about $15. The retail is about $200. So think about it. Disaster strikes. Babies need feed. Someone generously donates $200.

Without an Extreme Couponer, the non-profit spends $200 on:

-30 ready-to-feed quarters

-20 formula cans

-1 powder tub

Now if they hired an Extreme Couponing and said you have a $200 budget, get what you can get. Here’s the probable outcome: 

30 ready-to-feed quarters

-20 formula cans

-1 powder tub

-25 toothpastes

-25 toothbrushes

-25 flosss

-25 mouth wash

-100 bars of soap

-100 shampoos

-100 conditioners

-100 body washes

-100 hand soaps

-100 deodorants

-100 boxes of pasta

-100 bottles of barbecue sauce

-500 instant noodles

-20 half gallons of soy milk

-100 bags of salad

-100 paper towel rolls

With an Extreme Couponer, they would have gotten like $3000 worth of stuff for $200. Sounds crazy, but it’s actually quite real. Think about it. If citizens opened their wallets and donated $1 million to help a cause and let’s say 50% went to manpower. With the remaining $500,000 budget, extreme couponers could get like $3 million worth of stuff.

Now I am not saying I could do that. Right now I am consistently getting at least 70% off my grocery bills. But extreme couponers who save 95% off, well even if you paid them $50,000 and they turned a $100,000 budget into $1 million in products and food, then it’s totally worth it.

Oh, never mind. Why in the world would companies and non-profits want to stretch their dollars anyway?