The ABCs of Saving Money: C is for…

by Kelly · 7 comments

in The ABCs of Saving Money

The ABCs of Saving Money will appear throughout 2010.


One of my problems with cash is that when I have it in my wallet, it gets spent, and quickly. It’s easier to spend small amounts when you have cash (€1.05 for a baguette here, €3.50 for a sandwich there) and because there is no electronic record kept like with a debit card payment, I have a hard time seeing where it went. I know that for many people, paying in cash makes saving money easier, but it just doesn’t work for me.


Being organized makes it easier to save money. If you stock up on a good deal, but then forget where you put those bars of soap, you will have to buy more and sooner. Physical clutter makes it harder to keep track of things like bills, creating stress and anxiety. And we all know that when you’re feeling stressed and anxious, it’s hard to keep up good habits- like not treating shopping as the cure to all emotional woes!

Credit Cards v Charge Cards

There are differing opinions in the personal finance community as to the usefullness of credit cards. The first implies that credit cards are the root of all evil and should be avoided at all costs. The second camp believes that they are a useful tool and serve their purpose well, when used wisely (and paid off immediately). I agree with both.

I think that if you have the wrong sort of habits (ie a certain lack of self-control), then credit cards will just get you into trouble. I fall into this camp. On the other hand, credit cards can be very useful for reward schemes. My father travels a lot for business and by using his credit cards for most purchases, he maximizes the reward points enough to have (a certain number of) free plane tickets each year.

I use charge cards for everything. The money is taken directly out of my bank account and I have an electronic (and paper) record of the transaction. This is what I have found to work best for me.


I don’t use coupons very often, as France does not have a strong coupon culture. Even when I lived in the US I didn’t use them much, because most store brands and farmers’ markets don’t accept them. That said, shopping with coupons is a very successful way for many people to save lots of money.


One of the things that I love about living in our new apartment is that we are much closer to the center of town, the tramline and my oldest son’s school (hopefully, where my next two children will go as well). While we still own two cars, I am able to go many more places on foot or by public transportation. This saves on gas (now at about $6.75 per gallon, if my calculations are correct) and wear and tear on my car. I don’t forsee selling my car in the near future as it’s a good little car (10 years old, with only about 50,000 miles on it), but I’d love to be able to use it even less.

What’s the C in the ABCs of Saving Money for you?

Read the other posts in the ABCs of Saving Money series.


1 Emily February 15, 2010

Kelly, yesterday (Valentine's Day) my "C" was for Cooking. My husband was being guilted into the hype of taking me out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, when it smacked me in the brain…we were about to drop $100 on something that would be flushed down the toilet a day later. Talk about flushing your money away! So, for a fraction of that, I pulled together his favorite meal AND a luxurious dessert. And we have leftovers for today. I'm a happy girl. 😀

2 Annie Jones February 15, 2010

Thanks for posting your opinion on cash. I'm like you…I tend to spend it more quickly (and more frivolously) than I spend with debit or credit cards. It's harder to track where it went as well.

3 Gloria Van Lydegraf February 15, 2010

C stands for computer which I use to save money in many ways. I use it to search for the best prices on appliances, airfare, lodging, etc. I do research on the internet, saving on trips to the library or bookstore. I use it to find low-cost gently used items, rather than paying the cost for new. Sometimes I can even get what I need for free through I find recipes on line to make good use of cheaper cuts of meat and seasonal vegetables. I have used my computer to create and print birthday cards and party invitations. I also use it to create labels, documents and signs for my business. I avoid late fees by having some of my bills paid automatically, and my computer sends me alerts to remind me when to pay the others. I use to create a budget,track my spending, and to watch how my net worth grows.

4 Kayla K at Kayla K&# February 16, 2010

"C" is for being "Creative" with what you have. There's no need to buy new when what you have will do!
.-= Kayla K at Kayla K's Thrifty Ways´s last blog ..Dessert For Breakfast, Minus Donut =-.

5 Rachelle February 17, 2010

"C" is for courage, which I need when I suggest a cheaper outing with friends. The favourite dinner places in my social group are minimum $30-$40 (CDN) without drinks. I often suggest a different place or breakfast.

"C" is also for consistency, which means regularly reviewing our spending as well as having an automatic savings plan set up.

6 Lillie February 17, 2010

C is for caring for cats. It gets to be very expensive to maintain pets (four). I rely on coupons (both internet and newspapers), a dent and savage store that sometimes offers litter and the expensive brand of cat food that my cats can digest without problems, and the commissary to get the best deals. In addition to that, I always use my debit card and keep track faithfully of every penny spent.
.-= Lillie´s last blog ..Teen Credit: The good and bad that you need to know. =-.

7 Bill February 23, 2010

I have the same problem as you when it comes to spending cash; if it’s in my pocket, I’ll spend it. One way I’ve found to get around this is by spending the money on things that will increase in value at some point in the future, as an investment rather than a straightforward purchase. That way you get the satisfaction of spending, but still have access to the money when you need it. It also removes the temptation to spend it on things you might want, but actually have little need for.
.-= Bill´s last blog ..Make some art =-.

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