Consumers Looking Online for Discount Coupons

Grandma had it right all along - coupons are cool. But instead of clipping them from newspapers, magazines or the backs of cereals boxes, today's consumers are going online.

With most holiday shoppers looking for the best way to stretch their dollar this year, Cyber Monday - the new, online version of Black Friday - has exploded in popularity, mostly because of all the coupons available on the Internet. Since last holiday season, coupon websites like RetailMeNot, CouponCabin and saw traffic grow by 57%, 65% and a whopping 174% respectively, according to USA Today (some other discount sites include and Additionally, more than 20% more consumers printed online coupons this year than last year.

But while sales are appealing, they're only good deals under the right set of circumstances.

Online coupons offer several benefits. First, there's no hassle of finding and clipping them. Second, instead of those buy one-get one free type coupons, many online deals give straight-up discounts when you enter a particular code or perform an action (such as becoming a Facebook friend or free rewards club member).

Now, if you decide to buy a new pair of jeans just because the second pair will be half off - and you've already got plenty of jeans at home - you're spending money, not saving it. Same goes for making a purchase because opening a store credit card will save you 15%. It's not really a discount if your balance plus interest ends up costing you full price or more.

Here's the bottom line. If you're going to buy something anyway and you can find a no-strings-attached, free coupon, then go for it. But don't let coupons and sales become an excuse for spending more than you earn. Of course, if you're already drowning in debt, even properly applied discounts might not be enough to help your budget. That's when bankruptcy comes in handy.

When you file for bankruptcy, you'll have automatic legal protection from creditors and the opportunity to develop an affordable plan to pay down your financial obligations. The sooner you pay down your debts, the less you'll owe in the future as you reduce your balance and thus your interest. Think of it as a permanent discount. For more information about how bankruptcy works - and whether it can help your situation - contact an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney for a free one-on-one debt analysis.

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