At the Ultimate Money Blog, nodiv's better at finding good deals than the mysterious Mrs. Money. She stepped from behind the curtain to talk with us about how to find a good deal, and when a deal is worth taking.
How do you find the deals you share online?
I look at a lot of online ads for stores I like to shop at and then see if there are any coupons available. When shopping online, before I check out, I always search for a coupon code or free shipping code to use. I hate paying shipping when I don't have to!
What makes a good deal for you, and what marks a deal you won't use?
I live more on the side of minimalism, so if it's not something I am not going to use, then no matter how great of a deal is, I still don't buy it. Then I look at it as I saved the complete cost of the item! When I see a good deal, I don't immediately jump on it unless I'm 100% sure about it. Too many times people get sucked in because it's a "good deal" and they end up buying stuff they don't need. I try not to let that happen to me.
How did having a child change your financial strategy?
I became more focused on saving for the future. I want to make sure that we have adequate funds for retirement, and if we can help her with her higher education, that will be awesome! I really want to make sure we will be financially responsible for the rest of our lives.
Does going green save money, and if so, what are some ways it does?
Absolutely! When you go green, you start making a lot of things yourself. Household cleaners, laundry detergent, hygiene products, and so on. Not only are they so much better for your health and the environment, they are also very helpful to your wallet. Being a mindful consumer not only helps keep stuff out of our landfills, but it also helps save more money because you're not mindlessly buying crap.
You paid off a lot of debt at a surprising speed. How'd you do it?
When both my husband and I were working, we used one of our salaries to live on and used the other to pay down debt. I cannot stand debt and am so glad we lived this way for years because it enabled me to stay at home with our little girl. We lived frugally and were very mindful of our spending as we were paying down debt.
What trends in personal finance should we be keeping an eye on?
Staying debt free! I think this is the best piece of advice that anyone can give. I do know it's not always 100% possible, so if you have student loans, car loans, or other debt, it makes sense to try to pay it off quickly if the interest rates are high. I hate paying interest!