Twenty First Century coupon cutting might become the next money-saving system we need to utilize for financial survival. In other words, it could become Phase Two of the financial mountain climbing challenge we face. It would start in 2020. The reason for calling this Phase Two is that we may require another money-saving financial survival system in addition to cash reward credit cards.
This would be to offset the 2020 Medicare-Medicaid crisis that we are faced with right now. This additional financial survival system would be an addition to the cash rewards credit card financial survival system I originally devised and have been using for the last 10 years, from 2009-2019.
PART ONE: TOOLS FOR HELP WITH FINANCIAL CHALLENGES 2009 – 2019
To return to 2009 for a moment, our first major financial mountain climbing challenge was when we went ‘From Middle Class to One Day From Homeless’. We had to make substantial compromises to our lifestyle just to survive indoors.
There are actually four Amazon Kindle Ebooks that I wrote about that journey. Fortunately, I had discovered the benefits of the responsible use of cash reward credit cards. They can be invaluable in accumulating welcome bonuses as well as cash rewards. These are the Ebooks I wrote over this ten year period.
PART TWO: TOOLS FOR HELP WITH FINANCIAL CUTBACKS 2020 GOING FORWARD
Now we may be facing an additional tightening of our belts. What this means is that another system besides Cash Rewards will need to come into play as part of our financial survival tools.
I am constantly being introduced to new money-saving apps. In fact, most of them do not require manual coupon cutting. Instead, the saving is sent electronically from one devise location to another devise location which can then register at purchase checkout to apply the savings.
To start, there are plastic tags with individual identity name and graphics on one side. Then there is a bar card on the back to identify each store. Savings are electronically registered on a store’s tag. Finally, that information is transferred to the cash register at purchase.
21st Century coupon cutting is a transformation of the previous century system. In fact, the new system is digital coupons. Therefore, going forward in this series, look more and more for keywords that refer to digital coupons rather than coupon cutting. But don’t throw your scissors or coupon organizer quite yet. Instead, prepare to use them less and less. Happy savings, 21st-century style!
HOW TO MAKE A COMMENT
Is there something you’d like to say about this blog post? Your comments are always welcome. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to reach the box to ‘start the discussion’.
This is a sample of what the comment area looks like. It is active at the bottom of this page.
Our journey became one of survival. That became our priority. We had to learn to live all over again under very different financial circumstances. We explored many different avenues and began to build our financial survival tool kit.
OUR FINANCIAL SURVIVAL TOOL KIT
Building our kit involved many lifestyle changes. We went from a two bedroom apartment to subsidized senior housing. Access to food was a big challenge. Instead of the opportunity to purchase expensive, organic foods and eat out on occasion, we had to depend on the generosity of others and the government. Food pantries and food stamps are crucial financial survival tools. But they may be hard to swallow.
We went from middle class comfort to former middle class frugal living. It was a huge adjustment. We explored many tools that didn’t work for us. Things like couponing and taking surveys. Many more thrifty tools are mentioned in the first ebook. Eventually we found one tool that not only helped us survive but also became profitable. That tool is credit cards.
USING CREDIT CARDS FOR SURVIVAL AND PROFIT
Let me make very clear right from the start that our use of credit cards has involved a very responsible set of guidelines. We pay all our bills on time and in full. Our credit rating fluctuates between 775 and 800 depending upon which credit reporting agency you ask.
Credit cards have given us a financial cushion between sign up promotional bonuses and monthly cash rewards. My refinement of credit cards as a financial survival tool lasted about eight months. What I have learned, and continue to learn about credit cards is fascinating and extremely informative. I have my accounts charted with spreadsheets for each month. Read My Credit Card Accounts Maintenance System for the details of my system.
In less than a year, I had become sophisticated in the financially lucrative use of the credit card benefits tools. All of a sudden, the additional hefty promotional signup bonus credit card memberships applications began receiving denial letters. My stellar tool of acquiring credit cards with promotional sign up bonuses of $100-$200 had lost its winning streak. Clearly, it was time to rest that tool, re-examine some of the other financial survival tools that I had discarded in the past and to research additional new tools. I was at a loss and needed new financial fertilizer.
MASTERING THE ART OF GREEN
Mastering the art of green is a process. For me, it has involved taking stepping backwards to get a different, larger view on what ‘green’ means. It can refer to money. It can refer to food, lush grassy fields, innocence and inexperience.
Sure enough, once I stepped back and started to look at green in a new way, as fertility and productivity, new tools started to sprout. I started growing food indoors calling it, Table Top Farming. I am growing microgreen in soil and hydroponics in water.
This project is of major importance to us since healthy, live food sources can be scarce for seniors on fixed incomes. Food pantries tend to offer the lowest quality packaged/processed food. The SNAP (food stamp) program provides a miniscule amount of money to supplement nutritious food. So growing one’s own live, local greens can be better than money in one’s pocket.
RECONSIDERING COUPONS, STORE SALES AND SELLING SITES
Coupons and other money saving programs do have their value. They are not as lucrative as credit card sign up promotional bonuses. But what is? There again, when I took a step back to get a better perspective on what made sense for me to pursue, I found many options.
Decluttering, Sarah Mueller style can provide lots of potential items you no longer need and want to sell. The above video is from a workshop she did with an expert at selling stuff. Two of the most popular selling sites are Ebay and Etsy. I have not sold on Ebay. I do have an Etsy store, Tin Can Ali. It displays some of my painted items for fun. I have not really tried to sell anything. But Ebay can be a great place to sell things especially if you watch the Kathy Terrill videos from I Love To Be Selling.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Prioritize your options. Find what is most beneficial and takes the least time to execute it. New savings hacks are invented all the time. Be resourceful. Do the research. Continue to read my and other blog posts for the latest information.
Why This Post Is Called A Nutrition Crisis Rather Than A Food Crisis
The Poor Middle Class Nutrition crisis is due to the lack of healthy, nutritious, especially locally grown food. It is not as much about the availability of food itself. There are plenty of sources for cheap, empty calorie items. But access to affordable, healthy, local food is a the root of the Poor Middle Class Nutrition Crisis. The major food challenges for the Poor Middle Class are:
• having access to healthy food
• affording to eat healthy food
• eating enough nutritionally rich food
• staying healthy by being able to eat healthfully
Challenges & Solutions to the Poor Middle Class Nutrition Crisis
The following tools for accessing food have both pros and cons. The one thing they have in common is the added expense of time. Some involve monetary cost. Others are financially free. There is always a trade-off. This can also require a significant adjustment in lifestyle if one is used to supermarket shopping for quick and easy access. Here are some suggested alternatives that are mainstream or government sponsored:
• Buy In Bulk
• Use Store & Brand Coupons
• Barter & Exchange Products
• Get WIC & Farmers Market Coupons
• Go To Food Pantries
• Collect Food Stamps
Here are Alternative Lifestyle Means of Obtaining Food
• Go Dumpster Diving-This food was retrieved from dumpster diving
• Foraging for Food is making use of nature’s bounty, free for the taking, with gratitude. Be sure you are a pro or are foraging with a pro. You want to pick healthy not deadly items.
• Farm your own chickens for eggs, cows for milk and goats for milk
• Make Your Own Essentials and Seasonal Treats with fermentation, canning and other wholesome preserving techniques.Here is a great alternative. It is the Afro Jam story. I just love their graphics.
• Kill Your Own Food-This is a controversial but reasonable alternative. It is probably the cleanest source of animal protein, fish and fowl. It certainly is much harder to obtain than at the supermarket. But you know exactly where it comes from. It also brings us much closer to nature in relationship with the animal that has died for us to survive.
The Issue of Hunger
In addition to the existence of a nutrition crisis, there are people who go hungry in this country. Each of these crises is unique. Here is a short list about hunger and health:
• hunger is the result of a lack of food
• health is the result of a lack of healthy food
• accessibility and availability are issues
• poverty and homelessness can be a contributing factor
• food waste is a very serious contributor to food insecurity