Coupons can be a great way to save money and organize your finances, but some people are embarrassed to be caught using coupons. There are still far too many people that place a stigma on using coupons with the notion that it's beneath them. While some may look down on those who use coupons, that fact is that there is really nothing to be ashamed of at all when using them. Below are a few reasons that you should never be embarrassed or ashamed to use coupons.
You're Saving Money
First and foremost, you're saving money when you use coupons. No matter what your financial state, you should always be trying to save all the money you can. That is simply good money management. There is nothing wrong with using coupons to get a $1 off a grocery item or 15% off your purchase at a department store, and if you pass up these opportunities because you feel that they are “below” you, you're the one with money issues.
Coupons Are Made to be Used
Coupons are printed so that consumers can use them. There's no point to them otherwise. Manufacturers and stores want you to use coupons, which is the entire reason why they print them and stick them on food items, place them in the Sunday paper or send them to you in the mail. While some people do go overboard with “extreme couponing,” most stores have no problem with their customers using coupons because that is why they exist — to be used.
It Can Mean the Difference Between Buying or Not Buying an Item
When you are on a tight budget, using coupons can mean the difference between being able to afford something and not being able to afford it. Sometimes a limited budget requires that you can only get a certain type of product, but a coupon can mean getting brand name cereal or pasta sauce that you might enjoy a little more because you had a coupon. While coupons generally exist to save you money, they can also help you decide on whether or not to buy a specific item.
Items are Overpriced
Unfortunately, we live in a society where a large majority of items are overpriced. Most of the items in the grocery store, for instance, don't cost nearly as much as their retail price would lead you to believe. Of course, marking up goods is how companies make money, but the price increase tends to benefit them much more than it will ever benefit the normal shopper. Using a coupon helps bring prices down to a more reasonable level.
It Can Help With Your Finances
Using coupons really is getting to the basics of personal finance. It gives you the skills to look critically at prices, decide if the coupon brings down the price of a product to warrant purchasing it over a less expensive brand, and all around helps with basic money management. The fact that they can help you get more for your money is an added bonus.
(Photo courtesy of Tuomas Puikkonen)