Oct 05, 2018

Saving With Cindy: Meet Cindy Livesey

Contributing columnist Cindy Livesey will share her two cents on ways to save money, aimed at the cost-conscious consumer and those looking to live a ‘richer’ life. Cindy has appeared on The Rachel Ray Show, authored a new book “Living Rich With Coupons, Empowering Smart Shoppers to Live Rich,” and created her own website: LivingRichWithCoupons.com. Let the saving begin!

Hi neighbor! I’m so excited that we’ll be able to chat here every month in this new Saving with Cindy column. I have some pretty awesome savings tips to share with you, because who doesn’t love to save a buck? This girl certainly does.

You’re probably asking yourself, who is this girl? And what does she know about saving money?

This girl is Cindy Livesey … that’s me. I’ve been labeled the Coupon Queen by Rachael Ray, and I’m founding editor of the website livingrichwithcoupons.com. I’m also your neighbor – a resident of the beautiful town of Lincroft.

What I’m most proud of is what I’ve managed to save over the last 10 years. I’m proud of my three kids too – that goes without question – but since we are talking savings, I’ll tell you that I’ve managed to save over $100,000 on my groceries over the last 10 years. That’s a whole lot of money, right?

You might be asking yourself, “How in the world did you do that?” and “How can those little pieces of paper with barcodes on them save you all that money? Please share!” Luckily that’s my favorite thing to do – sharing my savings tips.

Let me back up a bit – to about 10 years ago when my husband, Pat, and I were faced with unemployment and mounds of debt that had accumulated over many years. With a combined income that topped six figures, we were living well above our means. We were driving new cars, living in a nice house in an upscale neighborhood, eating out often, and sending our kids to private schools. I’m not sure who we thought we were, but we certainly weren’t people who could afford all that.

After many years of living that swank lifestyle, our debt had accumulated to the point where we didn’t even realize it. When you always have income coming in and can pay all those minimum monthly payments, we just did it … until we couldn’t. When the economy took a turn for the worse and we – like many of others in New Jersey – were faced with unemployment and mounds of debt, we had to make some changes.

The first thing we did was sit down and go over our expenses for the year prior. That was a slap in the face. To see the huge amount we were spending on our groceries, eating out, clothing, cars, etc. was shocking.

We knew we had to make some drastic changes – and fast. Our hope was that we could make it through this period of unemployment, and once we found work, we could begin to pay off our debt. We never wanted to be in that position again.

The first place I started tackling was our huge grocery bill. Using basic savings techniques that I taught myself, I was able to save over $15,000 that first year. That is a whole lot of money. I also used those same savings techniques through all aspects of my life, which helped us become debt-free after four more years.

These are the same techniques I will be sharing with you each month in Saving with Cindy. I’ll tackle many subjects including using coupons; where to use coupons; local savings tips; holiday savings ideas; when to buy items and when not to buy items. We might even tackle tips on decorating on a budget!

I look forward to sharing the same tips that allowed me to be financially independent and living a life that I like to call Thrifty Rich.

I hope my story inspires you to look at your spending and see where you can start making some changes. Until next month … Happy Savings!