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What would you do with $50,000?

September 22nd, 2007 at 03:51 pm

It's a lot of money. $50K is actually a huge amount of money. It's a hefty down payment on a house, a brand new BMW, it's your college tuition, or tuition for your one of your kids. It might be 10 family vacations, a home remodel, or a very generous donation to your favorite cause.

This morning, I gathered all my September grocery receipts to enter into the spreadsheet I use to track grocery savings. I've tracked grocery savings since January 2003, so nearly 5 years.

There were some very good sales this week on Quaker food items, and I'd cleaned house so I wanted to get the receipts in there. (As an aside, I'd spent $36 and saved $801 over retail, but that's a whole other entry.)

After I got caught up on receipts, I decided to see where I was doing. Every now and then, I'll got through and do some tallies.

Today when I added it up, I could see that this month's savings pushed me well over the $50,000 mark in savings since 2003!!! You might ask what I spent to have saved so much, and you'd be surprised to know that we spent very little compared to the average family of five...$15,196, which means that I'm running at an average of 70% savings over retail annually on groceries.

Mind you, in the beginning, my spending was a bit higher. The $15K represents one year of baby forumla, three butts in diapers (the last one got out of them last year), food for between upwards of three pets (we're down to one dog), assorted parties for all occasions (including all the beer and wine). It also has some aritrary things thrown in for good measure because they were bought at the grocery store...cds, postage stamps, flower arrangements, and emergency birthday gifts.

But by and large, it's food and household items. Our average spending for nearly 5 years for 5 people was $266 per month. That's only $1.77 per day per person to be clean and fed. That's less than a latte at starbucks.

So, what have we done with $50,000?

Paid off bills, taken great vacations, paid tuition for college, gotten through tough times when one of us was off work, funded a 401K....the list sort of goes on and on.

The reason I share this with you is not to brag....I can do that at Hotcouponworld....we have a whole section there dedicated to sharing brag stories. The real reason is to help people understand that the .25c coupon you might think isn't worth your time to clip is more than worth it. It adds up. It's real money and you can do real things with it.

Cutting down your spending and shopping with coupons can make a huge difference in your life. It has in ours and it will continue to do so. I see where my kids are interested in coupons now, particularly my 8-year old. Above and beyond being able to stretch our lifestyle and give them things we might not be able to otherwise, we're giving them the greatest gift of all. Teaching them to be conservative with their money by having them watch us do it will give them a huge leg up in life....better than my husband and I ever had.

If it's true that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, you might not be able to get a better job, but you can find better ways to save. And remember, your savings is NET after tax dollars. You can use your savings to build your personal net worth and get onto the positive side of the balance sheet. It will help you and your family in the long run.

So, what would you do with $50,000?