There is something remarkable about PennyPinchinMom.com. It is a money saving blog and she is quite literally pinching pennies and introducing you to some of the best tricks out there. But, there is no heaviness that comes along with her attitude. Some of the ideas that we loved were her budgeting for vacations and fun times. Visit her blog and take a minute to learn more about Tracie.
Tracie, please introduce yourself.
I’m Tracie – the owner of PennyPinchinMom.com. In 2007, my husband and I started the journey to take control of our finances and become debt free. In 27 months, we were able to do just that – and paid off more than $37,000 in debt!
What is the main goal of your website?
I want to help families learn to live a well balanced life when it comes to themselves, each other and their finances. Most of what we share are tips and ideas to help others not only get out of debt, but save money in general.
What made you decide to start a blog about finances?
When we were getting out of debt, I learned how to be better with saving money and lowering our spending. Friends asked me to share my secrets and so I started the blog as a way to help them. And, as they say, the rest is history.
Being in debt can be disheartening, how did you get through that tough time?
We celebrated small victories. One thing we gave up when getting out of debt was dining out. However, as we reached each one of our debt payoff goals, we rewarded ourselves with a meal out. Just getting out to dinner kept us motivated and on track.
What are the three biggest benefits that your blog brings to your target audience and why?
First of all, I’ve actually lived what I talk about. In fact, I’ve even declared bankruptcy! So, when I say I understand I do.
Secondly, It is information that is helpful. I don’t share ideas that won’t work. The tips and articles are those that have been confirmed to actually work.
Lastly, (and most importantly) I’m me. I don’t try to be someone else. I am always genuine and speak from the heart.
I see you have a lot of tips on couponing. It sounds like a real art! Can coupons really help you save money?
They can, but not as much as they once did. Over the years, coupon use has changed dramatically, and so while I still share tips to save at the store, the focus has moved from being smarter with money and not as much actual coupon use.
Do you ever use discounted gift cards as a way to save money? Why?
This is one of my favorite ways to save money! I always get cards for the stores I need to shop at. In fact, I don’t shop for the holidays without finding my discounted cards first!
What are some of your best and most popular money savings tips?
Probably some of those you can use at the grocery store — without coupons. For instance, the store brands are usually the name brands with a private label. That means you can still get the products you want, without sacrificing quality.
Another is to watch the end caps of the aisles. You might think it means those items are on sale, but they are sometimes just placed there to make you want to buy.
How do you balance living a full lifestyle and keeping a tight control over your finances. Do you ever feel restricted?
We actually don’t feel any sort of restriction when our finances. The reason is that we have fun money built into our budget (Read this article about budgeting). We know what we want to spend on the fun things each pay period, so we never have to worry that we are not enjoying ourselves.
We also set large goals – such as family vacations – and save for those. We were able to take our kids to Florida for ten days this past summer — and paid for it all in cash!
Is there any secret tip that you’d only share with a close friend that you’d like to share with our readers?
Pretty much any financial person you talk to will always have a different strategy. One is never better than the other. The best way to save and get out of debt is the method that works for you.