Highlights May 2017

A Money Saving Mindset

After conducting a year-long research study on prayer, author Derek Polen  (Next Level Dad), discovered that the number one prayer request was people seeking financial help. Upon further research, he learned that the official poverty rate in America was 15%, representing 46.5 million people.

“With these two discoveries and having a passion for helping people, I was inspired to provide a simple and impactful book to help people save the money they worked so hard far,” said Derek.

A Money Saving Mindset introduces 40 ways consumers can spend less and save more, dividing the useful tips into four main categories:

Shopping Strategies – for in-store, online and product specific saving ideas

Mindset Makers – incorporating ways to get you thinking differently

Choices That Save – addressing investments and the financing side of spending

Promotions and Programs – highlighting the built-in benefits from retailers

At the end of the book is a Money Saving Game Plan, with a consolidated list of all the strategies outlined in the book. It provides separate columns for prioritizing ideas, identifying tips that are successful (or not), and tracking estimated savings.

“When I wrote the book, I pulled from lifelong experiences in using different buying strategies, saving ideas and lessons I had learned,” said Derek. “I reflect on many money-saving ideas that have been successful to me and can help others.”

A few of Derek’s favorite strategies that have provided the biggest impact for his family include:

  • Seeking out coupon codes for online shopping (additional savings of 10-30%)
  • Negotiating a price (especially if paying cash)
  • Drinking water when dining out (a family of four could save on average $1248/year)
  • Loyalty/Rewards Cards (earn points from the stores you frequent often)

Since writing A Money Saving Mindset, Derek continues to seek out useful strategies for saving, like using the Key Ring app to manage his loyalty cards and the Amazon app when shopping in stores. “I will open up the app and scan the barcode to see what Amazon’s price is”,” said Derek. “Plus, this gives me quick access to product reviews to make sure I am purchasing a good product.”

Teaching his kids how to save and make money-smart decisions has become an equally important endeavor for Derek. “If they really want something, I encourage them to research the product online,” explained Derek. “They find the lowest price and look at customer reviews.” The kids then present their case on why they should be able to purchase the product (using money they have earned).

“Setting a goal and saving for it gives them something to look forward to, a feeling of achievement,” said Derek. “They learn how it takes good money decisions and patience to get what we want.”

A Money Saving Mindset is available for purchase at Amazon.

Written by: Jodi Hale


Jodi Hale

Jodi Hale is an editorial/advertising assistant for North Phoenix Family Magazine as well as a freelance writer. The mother of three amazing boys ages 7, 13 and 15, she has served on the PTA board of their school for more than 7 years, collaborating with teachers, staff and community members to enrich the learning environment for all students through positive and engaging educational experiences. Jodi also volunteers as a public relations specialist for Musical Theatre of Anthem, promoting the theater’s year-round training opportunities and award-winning productions. She loves reading, free-hand drawing, creating props, and raising her boys to embrace life with purpose.

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