As Super Coupon Woman, My goal has always been to inspire and encourage others to use coupons as a way to save money for their family and be able to donate free or extra items to their community. I wanted to show how the totals can really add up when we do this together.
I was very excited to be able to donate to my community with the power of coupons because I was a single mom working hard to keep the bills paid each month and had to receive help when the girls were younger due to becoming recently divorced and struggling to earn income until the girls were in school. They were 2,4,and 6 at the time so staying home seemed to be the best option since I would be working for someone else to watch them.,
To keep donating a priority, I would create challenges for myself and share on social media or reach out to the news stations to see if they would be interested in the results. I was on a mission to share because I would of never imagined that I would be on TV due to my shyness.
I am a very competitive by nature, so each time I donated a certain amount, I would try to double it next time. I started couponing in late 2008 donating food and HBA items. I decided in 2014 to go out of my comfort zone and prove I was Super Coupon Woman by doing a Holiday Challenge that involved retail value. I wanted to donate $10,000 in gifts for $1500 which is 85% savings! I did accomplish this goal.
In 2015, I came up with the crazy idea to donate $50,000 in one year which is crazy in itself since I was working 60-80 hours per week! This is when I really was able to see how working together as a group could really make a difference. My friends, family, and coworkers all jumped in to help me reach my goal! I was able to use their items and the items I caught on sale to help families for Thanksgiving, Christmas, School Supplies, or just fill a need. All this was done by Facebook and word of mouth. I was able to complete the goal, but had to extend the deadline to 2016 instead.
As I read all the things I was able to accomplish, I am still impressed! I am very proud of being able to help my community and inspire others to do the same. I wish I had of waited due to the fact, I did not have the finances at the time to do so. Murphy has hit me with something every year since 2013, and I put a big burden on myself by taking these challenges on. I endured many things during this process also that included organizations and people taking advantage of me leaving me in tears and feeling unappreciated a lot.
I knew that I should of waited but everyone encouraged me to continue with the challenge, so I felt a lot of pressure to do so.
Many encouraged me to write a book to teach others how to coupon and share my pay it forward journey which took a year and a half to do so. The same people that encouraged me to do so would not buy my book and only read it when I offered it for free.
I kept feeling very frustrated when all these things that are really called “life” as a personal attack. I didn’t understand why these things were happening since I was doing good things. I don’t know why I felt that there should be this halo around me and that this mission was going to be easy since the Bible is filled with trials and tribulations :), but that is what I thought.
When the challenges were over, I was $10,000 in debt. I have been trying to pay off since 2017, but murphy’s law has still been hitting me each year, so the totals were not going down. If I had of waited to do these challenges when I was a little more stable financially, I could of avoided a lot of stress, anger, and disappointment. I would of also enjoyed doing the challenges more.
The bottom line is that paying it forward doesn’t mean that the ones you helped will help when you are in need, so it is up to us to make sure we are taken care of before we can help others. I didn’t even follow my own guidelines which is paying it forward should go in the following order:
Friends and co-workers
I have taken a break since the $50,000 challenge due to always being busy and trying to recover financially.
This year, I am finally seeing some results on debt
It’s down to 6,000 (would of been more, but I caved in and did Christmas even though I didn’t want to)
I have paid off my car
I have 1,000 emergency fund.
I hope to be consumer debt free this year, and start building some savings over the next few years.
Follow the steps to avoid some of the heartaches I encountered 🙂
Baby Step 1: Save $1,000 in an emergency fund
Baby Step 2: Pay off all debt (except your mortgage) using the debt snowball method
Baby Step 3: Save 3-6 months of expenses in an emergency fund
Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income for retirement
Baby Step 5: Save for your children’s college fund
Baby Step 6: Pay off your home early
Baby Step 7: Build wealth and give
Don’t Worry I am still a Big Pay It Forward Fan, and a big pushover lol
You can learn to coupon and read my inspirational pay it forward story on kindle for only .99 or free if you have kindle unlimited. The price is so low because my mission is the same which is to teach and inspire others to pay it forward with the power of coupons and kindness!