The F.A.C.T’s of Saving

I have summarized the ultimate way to become a Fun, Cheap, or Free SAVINGS Queen! You simply have to know the “F.A.C.Ts”. They are:

1. Find it cheaper

2. Be assertive

3. Get creative

4. Take advantage


Let’s break it down now:

1. Find it cheaper

Let’s play a quick game. Name anything in the world that you spend money on. Anything at all. Now, can you think of how to get that thing cheaper? I can! It takes time but you can – and will – learn to NEVER PAY FULL-PRICE FOR ANYTHING. Ever. Here are a few quick tips on how:
  • Always Google coupon codes, coupons, discounts, or specials before buying anything. By anything, I mean ANYTHING.
  • ASK for things. Discounts, deals, and specials. More details about this are on the “take action” section.
  • Research days of the week/times of year that are best to buy. (Like THIS example)
  • Shop around. Many places will price-match, and many places have big sales at certain times of year.
  • Find and keep coupons in a handy binder or box. Always leave it in your car, or have it in your purse. You just never know when you could use it!
  • Take advantage of daily deal sites like Groupon, Screamin’ Daily Deals, and Skweez. See my compiled list HERE.
  • Buy used. (Like THIS example)
  • Buy scratch and dent or floor models. (Like our example HERE)
  • Buy from sites like Ebay or other bidding sites.
  • Buy bulk.
The list goes on and on! You don’t have to do much to get things cheaper, I’ll show you how easy it is to never pay full-price for anything! Go to my “Find it cheaper” label for more ideas on how to do this.

2. Be Assertive
To be assertive is to take initiative; take action and make things happen.  Get up and do something. It’s the verb in the frugal equation. It’s great to have ideas, it’s another to put them into actionThis is both the hardest and easiest tip of all. Hardest in terms of getting the courage, energy, or finding the time to actually put into action your ideas. It takes guts to ask for a discount or deal on something! It takes time to make things yourself! There is a hefty learning-curve when changing your way of living! BUT…it will all be worth it, I promise.Here are some ways to be assertive:
  • ASK FOR THINGS!!! I can’t stress this enough. Ask for discounts. Ask about hidden costs or fine print. Ask for hints on when things will go on sale. Ask for a better deal. Ask around for advice from your social network. Ask someone to show you how they did it (whatever “it” may be). Ask questions. Ask. Ask. Ask. Remember, knowledge is power, and also remember…the worst anyone can say is NO. See? That didn’t hurt, did it?
  • Stop making excuses. Trust me, there will be a million and one obstacles and excuses, and they will all be valid. They will never go away, they will never get easier, they will always be changing. There is nothing you
  • Be like Nike – JUST DO IT.You’ve been thinking about selling your wedding dress for a while…you’ve considered taking a cake decorating class…you’ve always thought about starting an online business. What’s stopping you? DO IT! Want to start budgeting? Don’t wait for the month to end…start now. Today. Don’t say “this was a bad month”. Trust me, every month is a bad month for some reason or another! Just go for it. Taking your first step is often times the hardest part.
  • Learn how to do something yourself. How to crochet. How to make a cupcake stand. How to make friends. How to lose weight. How to budget. How to create a blog. How to do makeup. Don’t stand around and wish for other peoples’ lives, make your own life everything you want it to by by leading it yourself! Go to the web and start with “how to…”. It may just change your life.
  • Get organized. Organization is 99.9% of the problem many times. If you focus, set priorities, tack things, and make lists, that alone might be enough to completely change the direction of your life. Lots of ideas HERE.
  • Set goals. They need to be specific, and yes, you need to write them down. You’ll never break the finish line ribbon if you don’t hang one up! How to do this HERE.
  • Decide to be happy. I believe happiness is a decision, not a destination. Don’t let your life circumstances decide your happiness and mood, look in the mirror and decide for yourself! How to do that HERE.
  • Gain knowledge. Learn anything and everything you can. Make yourself an expert in saving money, and more and more knowledge will simply come to you by way of experiences and other people!
  • TRY. You never know whether you can or can’t do something unless you try. How do you know the lady at Gap won’t give you a discount? Did you ask? How do you know you can’t paint? Have you ever done it? TRY! My favorite quotes is
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretzky

Turns out that Gretzky fella is a pretty smart guy. Action, people, action!Watch these examples of what I mean:

 

 

 

So remember, once you ASK ASK ASK (that’s always the first step) here are the tips to help you get your way:

SIDE NOTE:

There are a few things to note here. For one, it never hurts to ask for a deal because the worst they can say is no! But if they can’t do anything for you, be polite and move on.However, there are times where being assertive is important because you should hold your ground on something that you rightfully deserve. For example, years ago Sprint made a mistake on our bill and over-charged us. No one “could do anything for me” but I held my ground, talked to the right person after some pushing, and got the problem corrected.Also, once I was price-matching at Walmart. The checker said I needed to have the ad to price-match. I knew this wasn’t the case as per their policy (that I had reviewed before going) so I asked her to double-check with a manager. I held my ground and the manager corrected the checker and said that THEY keep the ads behind the register and that I don’t have to bring my own, and they let me match the price.

Do you see the difference between the two?

1) Ask for a deal because it never hurts to ask!

2) Be assertive and hold your ground for something that is rightfully yours

Does that make sense?

Ok, so now that you’ve asked, her are a few more steps toward being assertive:

  1. Be firm, but nice. I promise, you WILL NOT get your way if you are mean, but you also WILL NOT get your way if you are timid and back down easily. Balance, people, balance. :)
  2. Don’t take the first NO for an answer. You may not get your way in the end, but make sure you hear 10 NO’s before you finally accept it! :)
  3. Ask for a supervisor. Most times the first person you speak to can’t make the ultimate decision. It is not mean, cruel, or unnecessary in any way to ask for a supervisor. It’s being assertive; get to the decision-maker!
  4. Present alternative solutions. If they keep saying no, or if something is against policy, you can’t really argue with that. Present alternative solutions instead! “If I’m too late to get tickets for this game, how about you give me tickets to the next home game instead?”
  5. Explain that you may have to take business elsewhere. Once again, no need to be mean. Just simply say something like, “Look, I understand where you are coming from, but I hope you also understand that this makes me unhappy and I will just take my business elsewhere. Is this really worth losing a lifetime customer over?”
  6. Get a name. Good or bad, get a name. This will make them feel good if they treated you well, or will scare them a bit if you didn’t get your way. If you need to file a formal complaint or call back later you MUST have a name to have any form of credibility.
  7. Resolve the situation. Don’t just walk away. If you didn’t get your way end it by saying, “Well, I’m sorry you lost a customer over this.” Or if you got your way, “thank you so much, I really appreciate it; you’ve earned my lifelong business.” Sometimes they’ll give you something more just for being so appreciative!

Go to the “Be Assertive” label for more ideas on how to do this.

3. Get Creative
Do it yourself. Be innovative. Reuse things. Make your own concoction. Stop buying, start creating!Use that super-smart noggin of yours, and it will save you bajillions! You don’t have to be crafty to get creative – TRUST me. You just have to think outside the box a little. Here are some examples of how to get creative:

  • Create something. For yourself, for gifts, to make money from, to keep you from getting bored, to fulfill a need, or for no reason at all…just create something!
  • Can’t afford something? Figure out how to afford it! Sell stuff, save up, make money on the side doing something creative. NEVER EVER EVER say “I can’t afford it”. Rather, say “HOW can I afford it??”
  • Reuse things. Empty containers, broken mirrors, old sweaters, empty baby food jars, whatever it is simply find a new use for it! Can’t come up with things on your own? See some tips above – use Facebook, Google, Youtube, and ASK around. You’ll have ideas and how-to’s in a snap.
  • Turn trash into treasure. Look at thrift stores, garage sales, and the classified ads to find cheap things. You will find some things that are in great condition – SCORE! – and some things in not-so-great condition. Simply get creative and make it your own. It’ll be treasure before you know it!
  • Repurpose/refinish things. Spray paint, hot glue, fabric, paint, glitter…there are a million and one easy ways to refinish and repurpose things. You will hardly recognize it when it’s done.
  • D.I.Y. Make your own fabric softener, dusting spray, recipes, gadgets, trinkets, anything! The possibilities are endless. (See home remedy examples HERE, and my favorite DIY projects HERE.)
Sometimes it can take money to start crafting or to buy the tools/supplies needed to do things yourself. However, once you have down the art of “Finding it cheaper” then you’ll be able to get the supplies for less, and you’ll have them to use over and over for other projects!

4. Take Advantage

The best part about becoming a FCF Queen is that you don’t have to do it overnight, and you certainly don’t have to know everything. Hey, I don’t know everything! The best part is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to saving money. Take advantage of what’s already out there!

Here are a few examples:

  • Follow sites and blogs that give good tips on how to make things or how to save money (he’em…like…I don’t know…this site! :) Like that plug?
  • Take advantage of freebies, giveaways, and coupons.
  • Take classes whenever and wherever available, in whatever it is you want to learn.
  • Take advantage of fun/cheap/free eventslike free museum days, cheap entertainment, free places to go, etc.
  • Sign up for daily deal sites and daily text sites like www.skweez.com, Groupon, and Screamin Daily Deals. (See my compiled list HERE)
  • Learn from what people have done before by asking around and by simply observing. Once again, no need to reinvent the wheel, ask someone to teach you how it’s done!
  • Check out books from the library with home tips, savings tips, financial advice, etc. There are tons of books out there that we all should take advantage of.
  • Take advantage of sales, clearance, deals, blowouts, offers, and everything in between.
There are unlimited amounts of resources out there, simply find them and TAKE ADVANTAGE of them!
Now you are a F.A.C.T’s pro, let’s get out there and save some money!