Feb 10, 2011

38. Money Matters...with the King Of Savings.

My friend Marc is the person I like to refer to as "the King of Savings." He once told me he went to 4 different registers at Macy's and saved 75%. Yeah, he's the person I'm going to default to when I want to share money issues with my readers. So when I asked him to write a post for ddow...he was pretty excited. So enjoy, we'll talk afterward. 

First off a big Mazel Tov to you if you are newly engaged or married! Now that you are planning the big day or just past your wedding there is the big question that stumbles every couple in the world...finance. And I’m here to give you {soon-to-be} newlyweds a few tips on how to increase your spending power and save money at once.

In the coming days, weeks, months you will start receiving a lot of gifts from gift cards, to whatever is on your registry (we’ll get to that hoax later), and more importantly cash or checks. No matter how much you receive there are many ways to get the most bang for your buck! When you and your significant other sit down and discuss your finances one of the first things will be what do we do with all of this cash? One way it could be put to use is towards a down payment on a house…but since we’re talking about consumer spending, it’s all about going to the mall.

What are your favorite stores? Do they have rewards programs? How about credit cards that offer more rewards as well as special sales? Do you like to travel? Do you like cash?

If you like any of the major department stores like Macy’s or Bloomingdale's, they both have credit cards and special sales by signing up for their programs. Or if you’re someone who likes shopping everywhere then why not sign up for a cash rewards or airline miles credit card. This way you can earn cash or miles to go on a trip with your significant other.

I receive sales, coupons you name it from Macy’s, Bloomingdale's and other places and the average discount is usually between 15-25% and that’s on top of the current sales. Think about it…let’s say there is an item you want that is retail at $200. The sale is 25% off so then it’s $150 plus another 20% off with your coupon/credit card that would make it $120. Now you can earn cash back or miles on the purchase just by swiping the card. So this $200 item is now $120 (40% off) plus cash back depending on the card and miles towards your honeymoon, anniversary, and an excursion. Not bad for minimal effort right?

Now let’s multiply out the savings and cash back or miles with who knows how much money you will receive on your big day. If you can get this kind of savings for each item, you want think about how much money you have at the end of the day or how much more you will be able to buy plus cash rewards and miles. This adds up with very little effort.

Add all this up, and this is my main argument against the wedding registry. Look at the damage you can do if you and your significant other spend the money instead of schlepping all the gifts from the hall to your home. Besides do you really need some of the things you zap in the store? I bet there would be edits between the initial zap and when receiving some of these items. Besides you should let your husband get a few PS3 games it’ll go a long way!

Until next time.
- Marc

A little more on Marc's theory on buying "off-the-registry"...he bought Jason and I the most beautiful serving platter for our wedding from Williams-Sonoma and we got to (finally) use it this past November for our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. I must say it's one of my absolute favorite wedding gifts that we received. 

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