I desperately want to get out of debt, and I’m willing to be totally weird to do so!
2016 is the year I’m getting financially fit and you should join me. Do you want to get out of debt by being weird? I’ve got a few suggestions for you!
#1 Take Pictures of Trash
I used to get home from the grocery store or Target, crumple up my receipts and throw them in the trash. Times have changed and now my receipts are precious! For several months, I have been taking pictures of my receipts with multiple apps on my iPhone.
After each shopping trip, I take pictures of my receipts for Receipt Pal, Ibotta, and Receipt Hog (which I will review soon). These apps are all a little different but each helps me earn gift cards or cash back for my normal, every day spending.
It’s an extra step after shopping (and before, if I want to look for available rebates) but it is worth the time and effort.
For example, my Ibotta earnings are now up to $52 (as of this writing), after only using the app for less than two months!
That’s $52 extra that I can send towards my medical debt! These aren’t pennies we’re talking about, it’s significant money! And that’s exactly why I think you are crazy if you’re not using this app!
#2 Act Like A Crazy Lady
Take a tacky-looking notebook with colorful flowers and glitter on it into every store you shop at. Write down prices of products you frequently buy in the notebook.
If you forget your ugly notebook (that you bought from the clearance rack at CVS) at home, take out your smartphone and take pictures of price tags and close ups of packaging so you know how many ounces or pounds of product they contain.
So far I have done this in Walmart, CVS, Costco and Target. I get a lot of “looks,” but this is a worthwhile endeavor!
I’m building the price book that I mentioned in my financial fitness plan. Before I buy anything I look in my price book to make sure I am not paying too much.
This habit will allow me to pay the absolute best price on everything my family needs throughout the year (from groceries to household goods and beauty products).
My ugly little price notebook has already paid off! Here are two examples of the benefits (and savings) of using a price book.
First, my husband wanted some Nizoral. I checked at Walmart and a 7 oz bottle was $14.97 (it’s pricey stuff, but it does the job!). Next, I drove to CVS and the same 7 oz bottle was $20.99! That’s a major price difference!
BUT, I had two coupons for CVS – $4 off any purchase and $7 ExtraCare bucks (their version of a rewards program). So I purchased the $20.99 bottle of Nizoral at CVS, but only paid $9.99 out of pocket!
Second, my price book has showed me that not everything is cheaper at Costco! My sister gave us a Costco membership for Christmas. My husband and I excitedly browsed the aisles imagining all the savings! I took diligent notes in my crazy little notebook.
But when I went home and looked at the numbers, I discovered that not everything at Costco is such a good deal. Coffee and oatmeal were cheaper there, but apple juice and beans were cheaper elsewhere.
Diapers and baby wipes are one deal at Costco that is excellent and we are excited to use our membership for those savings.
As an added bonus, Ibotta paid me $10 for buying Huggies diapers and wipes at Costco. They were already the best price in town AND I got $10 back! That’s a win!
#3 Wear Tattered Boots
I have a pair of boots that I bought at Target probably three or four years ago. They have held up surprisingly well after a lot of use, but I knew they wouldn’t last forever.
This year, they have finally decided to start falling apart. The back of the left boot has a decent sized tear in the outer fabric. I noticed it recently as I was on my way out the door.
Guess what I did about it? Nothing!
I didn’t run out to Target to buy a new pair. I didn’t even change into a different pair of shoes. My boots have a rip in them. Big deal. I don’t want to spend money on boots right now.
They still work, they still keep my feet warm, and I have a better quality pair to wear if we ever get a snow day here in Virginia.
Is it slightly embarrassing to walk around with torn boots? Not really. If someone points them out, I’ll gladly tell them how badly I want to change my life and get out of debt! I’m convinced I can use the tattered Target boots through one more season!