Clipping Coupons Regains Popularity Among Atlanta Shoppers Looking to Save Cash

There's a benefit to tough economic times: you might emerge financially stronger - and smarter.

It was announced recently that coupon usage increased last year for the first time in, well, a long time. Before the recession, most folks had renounced scanning the newspaper for coupons and sales as a hobby better suited for Grandma. As it turns out, our grandmas must have finally taught us a thing or two. Clipping coupons is a quick, easy way to start saving -- and maybe even lowering debt.

Coupons take almost no time to collect. They come right to you in your paper, your mailbox or your inbox. And yet they can make your everyday life cheaper. Look at them as free money - under the right circumstances, anyway.

Coupons save money when you're purchasing something for which you would have otherwise paid more. When you find a coupon for a certain brand of bread or cereal, you can buy bread or cereal for less this week. When you receive an e-mail coupon for a pair of jeans at your favorite store - a pair of jeans that you were already planning to purchase - you know this might be the best opportunity to buy them. If you play your cards right, you can save on just about everything by scanning sales and building up a stash of coupons. As millions of Americans are finding out, there's nothing old ladyish about having more money each month.

But just as coupons can help you save, they can also help you spend - if you're not careful. Like that pair of jeans, for instance. Let's say the jeans are normally $50, but with a coupon you can get them for $40. If your favorite pair of denim is on its last leg and you're looking to replace it (and you can afford to make a splurge) this might be the time. If, however, you've got plenty of jeans in your wardrobe, didn't have any plans to buy something new yet make the decision just because you can save $10, I've got news for you. You're not saving 10 bucks, you're losing 40 bucks because if not for the coupon, you'd be spending zero.

A splurge now and then is fine - a good idea, even. But when it happens too frequently, it's not a splurge - it's a habit. If you've accumulated so much debt that every purchase feels like a splurge, it's not too late to get back on track. Bankruptcy might be just the motivation you need to do it. Find out for free how bankruptcy can offer a debt repayment plan you can actually afford, not to mention protect you from creditors and lenders, when you sign up for a free personal debt analysis with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney. So you can lower your debt and free up more of your paycheck each month - with or without clipping coupons.

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