I’ve racked my brains for months on how I would “tell my story”, how I could prove to people just how AMAZING coupons are. When I explain to people my situation , they are taken back, they challenge me…and maybe that’s what I was afraid of? Being challenged. How exactly would I prove, that I have changed my life around so drastically, that people wouldn’t believe me?
Let’s get into the background information. My name is Krystyna, I’m 27 years old. I am a single mother of two beautiful, amazing, headstrong, perfect little girls. ( 6 & 3). I also care for my sister who has Noonans Syndrome, 24/7 – 365. We lost our Dad in 2012 at 53, our Grandmother in 2013 at the age of 87, our Mother in 2015 at the age of 50. I worked fulltime, 9-5, weekends, holidays…you name it. I paid for care for my sister, and daycare for my two girls. I had strangers raising my children and sister, just so I could “scrape by” by scrape by I mean not paying rent, being mailed termination notices, taking out every payday loan I could, just to survive for that month. I was registered at 3 foodbanks, and was denied any assistance by the state, because I “made too much”.
In 2015 when I lost my mom, I lost my primary caregiver to the girls (my weekend cover, my sick day cover, my “i got called into work cover”) which put me in a downward spiral of stress, not only about my job, but I lost the one person I had left that understood what I was going through. I had no care for my 3 girls…I suffered another traumatic loss. My world spiraled.
My doctor thought it best to pull me out of work, and apply for temporary disability, to sort myself and my situation out.
WELL. Anyone who has been on any sort of state disability knows that it pays next to nothing.
Again here I was struggling, on LESS income than I had before. I had to plan a funeral (again), support my girls…I had nothing. I had to find a way to make more money. As I searched for “how to work from home jobs” for WEEKS, I finally had the epiphany that if I can’t find a way to make more money, maybe I could find a way to save more money.
If you google how to save money, do you know one of the first topics is coupons? Those little measly things you get in your mail and you use as puppy pads, fire starters in the firepit, placemats for when your kids paint? No ? (that’s what I did with them).
I spent my last few dollars the week of my birthday in September, and bought 3 newspapers. I had all these inserts, but NO IDEA what to do with them. So I started a general search in Facebook and used the keyword “coupons”, and stumbled across “Friendly Couponistas” run by (not yet then) fellow Mod on HTSFF Ashley. I scrolled through her posts and matched up her posts of coupons and sales with the coupons I had, and the following week went out and did some shopping. My notes were a mile long, and screenshots all over my phone.
That week I got Free Diapers, Free Makeup Brushes and Free v05 from Dollar Tree. As I continued following Ashley’s page, I noticed alot of posts shared from “How to Shop for Free”. I got curious, looked and saw it was a JACKPOT of deals, all I hadn’t seen. LIKE. FAVORITE.FOLLOW.
I found the link of all the HTSFF Facebook Groups. LIKE.FAVORITE.FOLLOW.
I found the HTSFF Forums. SUBSCRIBE.SUBSCRIBE.SUBSCRIBE.
I literally followed day and night these deals. I wrote them down, I copy and pasted. I took pictures. I clipped my coupons. 5% savings, 15% savings,50% savings,80% Savings,100% savings. By the middle of November I was so invested in How To Shop for Free groups, and these deals I had cut my grocery, home-good,retail bill, gas bill by 50-75%. To put it out there, about $1,000 a month.
Did I go into my daughters deadly asthma? No I didn’t yet. Yes my youngest has severe severe asthma. Respiratory Illness after respiratory illness, hospital admission on-top of hospital admission. My house was built in the 1700’s and it is full of mold. My youngest is allergic to mold. According to the state of Rhode Island…they don’t care. So my daughter suffered to breathe, and be healthy because I couldn’t afford to move and get her out of that environment, and the state wouldn’t help me.
GUESS WHERE THAT $1,000 I SAVED ON THOSE 3 BILLS WENT?
On December 1st, 2015 I was able to move my family to a house that contained no mold, because I was able to save MONEY. I HAD NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE! COUPONS in other words saved my daughters life. Also on December 1st, I was offered a position with the State of Rhode Island to receive a monthly stipend to care for my sister. I know this is not everyones circumstance, but to put it in perspective it’s the equivalent of a single persons income from a job. I was able to make the choice to not go back to work, but that is not the point. You’ll get it in a bit. (You guys still with me? or are you snoring yet?) 😉
So now I am back at a regular income, no longer receiving TDI, and I have no idea what to do with all this money. Yes. I had no idea what to do with a regular income anymore. Why? Because I was so used to living off my diminished income and using coupons, that….my diminished income WAS REGULAR INCOME TO ME! I am being completely honest when I say I had no idea what to do with it. I didn’t have to pay for my gas anymore (thank you stop & shop). I didnt have to pay for household items, I barely paid for food…let’s go to DISNEY?! I wish…No I did not go to Disney. No… I decided to do the one thing I have always wanted to do, and be free from.
I wanted to pay off my debt.
I wanted to pay it all off. I wanted to be smart. I wanted to think about the future. I wanted to buy a house. I wanted a new car. I wanted it all and for once I knew it could happen. It could happen 100% and coupons were my route to do it. I did a light Christmas and I saved. I lived as is I was still on that TDI income and SAVED SAVED SAVED. Every week, I’d pay a back bill….if it was too big I’d save for a few weeks.
By February 13th I had paid off CLOSE TO 7,000 IN DEBT WITH MONEY I NEVER KNEW I HAD BECAUSE I ALWAYS SPENT IT.
It sounds like I make bank and make thousands of dollars a month. I will be honest and upfront…I don’t I make under $2,500 before taxes. (Yes I’m telling you guys this because you can make more, you can make less, it will still work for you)
I got to meet Kathy Spencer at a seminar in New Hampshire in February, it was amazing. I met all these people that I only knew by facebook names from all these groups, and it was amazing. I became a mod for How to Shop for Free. I get to help people do what I do. I’ve started teaching classes. Coupons have changed my life.
So here it is…April… what have I done? Well… speaking of that seminar..my car broke down 100 miles away from home and it cost me $600 to get it towed home. PAID. Found out I blew my transmission line. PAID. Head gasket blew (damned car) PAID. My daughter had her first father daughter dance. PAID.
LAST WEEK I GOT APPROVED FOR MY FIRST CREDIT CARD IN 11 YEARS
I owe no debt. My bills are current. I’m going to be purchasing a $800 fence for my new backyard.
I’m on my way to owning a 2016 Subaru Forester, and we are going to Disney for Christmas.
By this time next year, I’ll own my home.
What will coupons do for you?
What will you do for yourself?
PhotoCredit: Me. My proof that coupons work