By Alicia Kellebrew
NFCC Certified Financial Professional
The Village Financial Resource Center
Is there a particular type of behavior that is so closely linked to you that your family and/or friends say “I’m going to pull an (your name here)” if they’re going to do something similar? Some of these behaviors might be silly (like purposely mismatching your socks), annoying (like being obnoxiously loud), or forgetful (like misplacing your keys). Others might include more self-preservation types of things like repurposing things you already have around your home or frequenting thrift stores and garage sales for the items you need.
In my circle of family and friends you will often hear the words “pull an Alicia.” When I first heard that phrase I wasn’t sure if I should be flattered or slightly offended. So what does “pull an Alicia” actually mean? “Pulling an Alicia” is (simply put) finding the most cost-effective ways to do the things you have to and want to do. For instance, if you know eating out is your primary source of entertainment (I really should find another one!), then you take note of any specials, deals, coupons, or discounts that are available. This may mean planning ahead, eating a little later than normal, splitting a meal, carrying around loyalty cards, or even creating a separate email account that you use strictly for joining your favorite establishments’ “e-clubs” and getting their coupons that way. Did you know that if a person knows what they are doing they can eat for free for almost the entire week of their birthday?! What could be better than that?
- Be aware of how much things cost and how long it takes you to earn the money required to do or purchase what you want.
- Always keep your eyes and ears open for deals.
- Refuse to pay full price if you know you can get it for less.
- Be flexible about how and when you do things. If you know that doing something sooner than usual or later than usual or trying a different location will save you money, do it!
- Know what you are willing to pay and stick to it.
- Carry your coupons and discount cards with you (all the time). If you don’t and you are truly “pulling an Alicia,” you will go back home to get them.
- Don’t be embarrassed by your efforts to save money. Sure, some people will think you are strange, but deep down they are probably pretty impressed.
- Find out about good deals or sales and share the news with others so they can save a few dollars too.
The last time I was home with my family I reminded them about a few discounts they forgot about. In the two days I was home, I saved them about $10. I laughed and said, “You know, we should put the money I save you in a jar!” And they said, “You just want to do that so you can have it!” I don’t think they believed me when I said I just wanted to see how much money can be saved in a month by putting my methods into practice.
So now, I officially challenge you to “pull an Alicia” for a month. Find a jar or box or envelope and stash all the money you save. If you don’t deal in cash, just keep a running tab in a notebook or on an index card. Or, if you want to get really fancy you might even write it out in your money journal.
Afterwards, please share in the comments section of this blog how much money you saved and some of your best savings ideas. Who knows? By the end of the month, your family and friends might be referring to your money-saving techniques as “pulling an (your name here).”
I don’t know about you but if people consider me to be a smart money manager, I consider that to be a compliment!
If you are facing financial difficulties or just have money-related questions, The Village Financial Resource Center is here to help. Call us at (800) 450-4019 or visit helpwithmoney.org.