The Ten Traits of EXTREMEly Effective Couponers Trait Two: They Stick to a Rigid Budget!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see Full Disclosure Policy for more information.

Extremely Effective Couponers

If you read the first installment of this series, you know that EXTREMEly effective couponers have defined goals.  Interestingly enough, the goals are not isolated to couponing.  When talking to these people, you will know where they are planning on taking their next vacation, which car they plan on purchasing to replace their current ride, where their children are going to school and the list goes on.  The fact is that they plan.  Part of that goal setting and planning ties directly into having an effective budget.  EXTREMEly effective couponers have a rigid budget and they stick to it!

If you do not currently have a household budget, how are you tracking your successes?  I have people email me every week telling me that they don’t have money for this and don’t have money for that.  They are asking me for my help. They want me to give them a “foolproof” plan for saving money and getting exceptional results.  The first requirement that I have for these people seeking my help is that they email me a copy of their current month’s budget.  99% of the time, there is no budget.  That isn’t good! It’s a proven fact that if you don’t take control of your money and direct it, your money will take control of you!  Money is an inanimate object.  It has no personality, no intelligence and definitely no emotion.  As human beings, we have the ability to control that money.  Most of the time, that doesn’t happen.  We let our money control us.  If you don’t have a monthly budget, I highly recommend that you stop reading right now and set up a rough budget.  If you do have a budget, that’s awesome!  Read away!

Use Cash Instead of Cards/Checks

Effective Couponers Cash PicEXTREMEly effective couponers are EXTREMEly effective because they know their boundaries.  They have put safeguards in place to assure that they do not overspend.  Many new couponers are not able to resist the temptation of “the deal.”  Regardless of whether or not they need the product, they feel the impulse and urge to buy.  They can’t control themselves. One way to control yourself is by having a budget.  An even better way to control yourself is to make your grocery and drug store purchases CASH ONLY!  In my household, we do not slide a card or write a check in the stores.  In fact, when we write our monthly budget, if it is something that can be bought for cash,  we spend cash on it. Why?  The reasoning is simple, you spend less.  The truth is that if you allow yourself to only spend cash in the stores, psychologically, it is more difficult to part with your money.  Another fact of economics is that when your cash is gone, you can’t spend it!  We allocate a certain amount of cash every single pay check for our groceries and drug store shopping.  Since we went to cash only, we have NEVER spent our entire budget amount in any month.  In fact, last month, at the end of the month, I went through the cash envelopes and was able to cull out over $400 in accumulated cash that we hadn’t spent from our budget!

Interestingly enough, when I worked in retail, we had a consulting firm come into the chain where I worked and do a study on peoples’ shopping habits.  They wanted to see how much the average person spent when they were paying with cash vs. those paying with checks, debit cards and credit cards.  The average cash order was only $21.83.  The average order for everyone else was over $50.00!  That is 2.5 x the cash order!  It’s true, it doesn’t hurt to slide a card.  It doesn’t hurt to write a check.  When you look Andrew Jackson in the eye as a 20 leaves your hand, it is almost as if he is looking at you and begging you not to let him go.  If you haven’t tried this exercise, I highly recommend it.  It is not difficult to do and you will be amazed at the good decisions you will make!

Effective Couponers Prepare for Everything

Cash spending is only one small part of our budget.  The truth is that we have a line item for every single source of income we have in our household.  We also have a line item for every single monthly expense in our household.  In addition, we have line items for expenses that we know are going to happen.  We literally contemplate everything before our money comes in.  We add up all of our income and then subtract all of our expenses to be sure that we are covering everything.  Our goal is to have a ZERO at the bottom of our equation.  This means that we have told every single dollar of our income where we want it to go.  As an FYI, this also includes savings.  If we want to put $200 per month into savings, we simply write that into the budget.  It’s amazing how much money you will find that you never knew you had!

A common misconception is that if you save a huge % on your shopping trips, that you are really saving $$$.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  I could overspend by $1,000 in a month and still save 80%.  What does that do for my budget?  Absolutely nothing.  My goal (and I hope your goal) is to reduce the total amount of cash I am spending out of pocket so that I can redirect that money inside my budget to do other things.

Be Extremely Effective

I consider myself to be an EXTREMEly effective couponer.  I know for a fact that I would not be nearly as effective if I didn’t set boundaries for myself.  By establishing a budget and limiting my spending, I have become a better stockpiler, a better deal finder and a better decision maker.  Because of this, I have freed up over $500 per month in our monthly cash flow.  That’s not because of hard work.  That’s not because I went out and got a part time job.  That’s because I sat down and got really honest with myself and made some tough decisions.  We sacrificed some things that we otherwise wouldn’t.  However, through this discipline and ability to delay our gratification, we will be much wealthier in the long run.  If you want to be EXTREMEly effective, take this first step.  Mirror those that are successful and create a firm household budget.  We are here to help.  If you have questions, please feel free to email



  1. Thanks for this great read!!

  2. Thank you so much! Excellent post! I really like the part about using cash. Going to try it and see.

  3. Great feedback i need to start using the best practice!

  4. I have to admit that 2 years ago I would not have dreamt of using cash for anything. But about 6 months ago after going thru a few webinars , I decided to give it a try. I began by revamping my budget and using the snowball method on my credit cards. Then I marked some paper envelopes with the categories and budget amount allocated and began taking cash out at the ATM each payday to put in the envelopes. When I went shopping or someone needed a haircut I reached for the envelope instead of the debit card. After seeing the balance in the checkbook grow by almost 200% in the last 5 months, I can h honestly say I am a believer in the cash method! Thanks for the push to get me started David it was just the kick in the butt I needed to get me off my budget plateau and get me moving toward a debt free future!

  5. Thank you.
    Good read

  6. Hello, I cant get the link for the: pre-recorded live webinar to work. 🙂 thanks!

92d3fe425d250a07f0690e7b9446fd75d36d34df8c1539a41f 92d3fe425d250a07f0690e7b9446fd75d36d34df8c1539a41f