Any Dave Ramsey fans out there? At New Year’s I made a goal to get better control over our finances and get out of debt. I bought Dave’s The Total Money Makeover and read it… and quickly decided that he had a GOOD plan! The guy gives it to ya straight. I love it! I like to listen to his radio show online and watch his TV show on Hulu… it helps keep me motivated. For the first time since I’ve been married, we have a plan for our future and we have planned out every dollar that we earn. We’re actually BUDGETING! EEEP! If you feel like you live paycheck to paycheck… if you have ANY debt… if you want a REAL plan to get out of debt and save and build wealth… GET HIS BOOK! :)

And along the lines of budgeting… I purchased the You Need a Budget Software. I loooooooooooovvvveeeeee it. Seriously. I do! Before I was using an Excel spreadsheet… and it was lame. I love how YNAB helps me save for future purchases/bills without actually having to transfer that money into a special savings account. It is especially helpful for preparing for bills that come only every few months or once or twice a year (like car insurance and such).

To help us in our Total Money Makeover, I decided to start using coupons to cut down our grocery bill. What a lot of people think is that it’s just cheaper not to use coupons and buy the store brand… NOT TRUE!! Couponers combine coupons with sales and sometimes stack coupons and sales on top of store coupons… getting stuff for cheap and FREE! And you stock up on that stuff so you don’t have to run out to the store to get something you need for dinner that night and end up paying full price for it.  Since I started couponing, I have saved 60-75% off every shopping trip. It’s like a rush and I thoroughly enjoy it. How dorky am I? haha! Plus it allows me to shop at Safeway instead of Walmart… and I try to avoid Walmart at all costs.

I was hesistant to do the couponing thing… I’m a busy woman and I didn’t think I’d have the time to search through ads and coupons and try and match them up. Buuuuuut I read blogs like The Krazy Coupon Lady (read their KCL 101… it helps A LOT) and they alert me to awesome coupon matchups. Annnnnd I subscribe to Coupon$ense. I especially love C$ because it allows me to login and see what’s on super sale and add it to my shopping list, then I just print it out and it gives me the list of coupons I need to clip (and where to find them) and bring with me to the store! They are based in Arizona, but people in other states can check and see if they have stores for your area too by putting in your ZIP code on the sign up page.

This was my very first couponing trip ever… I spent $15.75 and walked out with $11.50 in “catalinas” to use on my next purchase. Isn’t that the coolest?!

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In another attempt to be thrifty, I signed up for Swagbucks (that is an affiliate link). Swagbucks is TOTALLY legitimate. Essentially, you earn swagbucks just for using their search engine. Then you can redeem those swagbucks for prizes in their Swag Store… and I always snag the $5 Amazon GCs. Then I stack those Amazon GCs in my Amazon account. I signed up last month and I have already earned $20 in Amazon GCs. I decided to see how many I can earn before Christmas and try and do my Christmas shopping with the GCs I earn through Swagbucks! Christmas gifts for free… I’m excited! ;) hehe! Just search the web like you usually do, but use the SB search engine instead and you’ll randomly win SBs! (You don’t win on every search, it’s completely random) You can also earn more SBs by finding swag codes and entering them into your account. If you’re on Facebook, fan Engineer a Debt Free Life and they will alert you when a swag code is out and tell you where to find it or where to find the clue! You can also earn an additional 1-3 SBs PER DAY just by having their toolbar installed. Learn more about it here!

Anyways, I am totally lovin’ Dave Ramsey, budgeting, coupons, and Swagbucks. I just want to share the info for any others wanting it! :D

“If you will live like no one else, later you can LIVE like no one else!!!” -Dave

GIVEAWAY!!!

Are you interested in Dave’s plan? Leave me a comment and you’ll earn one entry into a drawing to get his book, The Total Money Makeover, FOR FREE! That’s right, I’m giving one away! ;) Want more entries into the drawing? Earn another entry for each of the following (please leave SEPARATE comments telling me which you’ve done… it’ll be easier for me if you leave separate comments for each entry):

  • Blog about this giveaway and send your readers over here!
  • Post about this giveaway on Facebook with a link to this blog entry!

Winner will be announced on April 16th!

24 Comments

  1. I blogged about it – http://notforthefaint.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. oh my, i’d love to win this! i keep thinking about his book but always forget to pick it up. i’m a couponer & swagbuck user too-it can get VERY addicting!

  3. Sounds interesting! Thanks for the chance!!

  4. I would love this, I am just trying to get our budgeting started and this would be perfect!

  5. That is awesome that things have changed so much for you! For some reason couponing hasn’t been quite as successful for me as you. I use KCL every week but my grocery bill hasn’t gone down, BUT I have been getting more food for the $$$. I guess that is a start. I would love to read Dave Ramseys book. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  6. Wow, lots of great advice!! My DH and I are recent grads of Dave Ramsey’s [url=http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/home/]Financial Peace University[/url] what an AWESOME course!! We have totally changed our way of thinking about money. Our money is starting to work for us not against us now and we are totally psyched. We cut our grocery/food budget from $1000 bi weekly to $300 bi weekly for a family of 4!! It can be done!! We were totally wasting money and now we know it. Totally looking forward to the day we can call in to the show and yell out that we are DEBT FREE!! Great job on your part and I wish you luck on your endeavour! Keep spreading the news and giving!! Blessings to you :)

  7. Holy crap meegs that’s awesome stuff! Thanks for this girly!

  8. That’s so awesome, Leigh! I can’t wait to call in either!

  9. I bought his book but am still reading it. My aunt did the coupon$ence thing too and loved it. I will have to look into that!

  10. This really sounds interesting! Thanks for the tips!

  11. Megan, I’m so glad you posted about this! I LOVE Dave Ramsey. My mother-in-law bought my husband and I his Financial Peace study, and I am LOVING it. His book is full of hard-hitting financial truths, and he has SO much wisdom to offer!

    I’m so glad you brought up coupons! Do you have a mini-organizer to sort your coupons? I made one and I take it with me every time I go to the grocery store! I’m definitely going to check out Swagbucks. I’ve never used that before. Maybe I’ll save up some gift cards to buy a Kindle, lol!

  12. I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan! If everyone followed his ideas, we would not be in a financial crisis right now.

  13. I love Dave! My whole family and siblings use all his advice. It is so wonderful to be out of debt and quickly paying off our mortgage! Yeah Dave!

  14. Wow you got a lot of great stuff Megan. Swagbucks rocks doesnt’ it? Thanks for the chance to win!

  15. We love Dave Ramsey! We worked our way out of deep debt and owe nothing except for the house and we’ll be working on getting that paid off too…as soon my husband gets back to work. He’s been off work since the beginning of September 2009 and we surely would be hurting if we hadn’t followed Dave’s advice. We had his book, but lent it to someone and they never gave it back. :(

    I don’t do couponing…but now I’ll have to check out all your suggestions! Thanks.

  16. I’ve heard a lot of really great stuff about Dave Ramsey. I would love to look into it! We are poor and while we kind of have a loose budget, I need to have a more tight one so I can buy more of your stuff and other scrapbook stuff! :) Thanks for the chance to win!!

  17. Wow!!! Megan, thank you so much for this post. I would love to learn how to budget and save for our future.

  18. OK, I’m probably going to sound stupid here, but how do you earn Swagbucks? I signed up for it and started using their search engine, and I haven’t earned any Swagbucks. Am I missing something?

  19. OKAY, you have me convinced with Dave, lol. I’d love to win his book, thanks for the chance!

    I wish we had couponing over here, I have a feeling I’d be really good at it, lol.

  20. Hey Meg!
    Swagbucks is completely random. I usually earn them 2-3 times a day, but yesterday I didn’t win at all… sometimes you get a slow day or two. What I do is I search in the morning and put in about 10 different searches… if I don’t win then I’ll wait several hours before trying again. It just seems to award you more if you space out your searching and you don’t “oversearch.” So I typically search a little in the morning, afternoon, and right before bed. Also make sure you’re logged in before you search. Hope that helps!! :D

  21. Megan, you are such an inspiration. I think everyone could use some help budgeting and I can’t wait to check out the coupon sites you spoke about. Keep up the good work!

  22. I could totally use this!! Anything that will allow me to be able to buy more scrapbook stuff ;) Thanks for the chace to win!!

  23. I so need this, thanks for the chance!

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