I don’t know what the current interest rate is in the United States, nor China’s GDP, nor why or how Wall Street speculators should or could make public universities tuition free. I buy stocks I hear about on the news and hope for the best, still use my first savings account (mattress), and avoid speaking at dinner parties because my friends don’t yet know I’m financially illiterate.My career and social life have very little to do with finance, so the above have never really mattered. But we’ve reached a point in history, as Americans and citizens of the world, that it’s important to understand what’s happening. This means being up on climate change, on international conflicts, and even on finance. But when I try to read articles or watch coverage from mainstream financial outlets, the stocks and bonds and yields and pulls and puts and what-have-yous go right over my head. I think this is an issue, not just for me, but for others like me. I consider myself a fairly intelligent individual more or less representative of the average American. If I can’t understand this stuff, it’s likely others are having issues as well.
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But I know exactly how much money is in my bank account, and I’m aware that that amount is slowly shrinking, rather than growing. I’ve heard from many people who are having very similar experiences. They feel like they’re making mistakes, but the truth is, this is just the world we’re living with. Wages are not rising with the cost of living, and our families still have needs. We’re finding ways to do more with less, but just not quite enough.
I recently stumbled upon a service called Groupon Coupons, which provides free coupons to over 70,000 retailers and service providers, many of which I already shopped at, and it has been a life changer for my family. I have a feeling it could be for yours, too. Your son needs new shoes? Download a free coupon for Foot Locker before you leave the house. Need a father’s day present for a paternal figure dealing with back problems? Download a coupon for Brookstone and get him that massage chair he’s had his eye on. Sister said she’d love a scarf for the holidays? Grab a coupon for Loft, Nine West or any of myriad major brands who post deals through the site.
I will never be a financial master of the universe. But at least through services like Groupon Coupons I can be the master of my bank account, and hopefully begin to see that balance tick upwards instead of down.