Smart shopping can lead to dividends

Like a run away truck on a steep mountain pass, we head to the store weekly, sometimes daily, to buy the things we think we need to survive. And like Wilma and Betty, we seldom think twice about what we purchase or where we buy it from.

But in this day and age, we have find a way to stop our expenses from going higher while our income gets smaller.

And Lyoness is that answer.

In previous posts we’ve talked about how Lyoness is the world’s largest shopping community with more than 3.5 million people. And we’ve discussed how merchants are looking for loyal shoppers and are willing to give some of their advertising dollars back to customers who shop with them.

Today we’re going to look at the practical application of how a family can make their expenses turn into income. That first step is changing how you shop.

And remember, the savings may look small but collecting them all up in an easy and systematic way can payoff big down the road. Just like Gus Gorman (aka Richard Pryor) in “Superman III”, you just have to know how to get them all working for you.

The Internal Revenue Service has compiled some shopping numbers that are very interesting, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to figure out just how much we all spend on the basics of life each month. Here’s what the table looked like as of September 2, 2013:

Common Expenditures ~ Bureau of Labor Statistics 09/02/13

Common Expenditures ~ Bureau of Labor Statistics 09/02/13

For the basis of this post, we’re going to look at how we can use Lyoness to affect the expenditures above for a family of four. According to the BLS chart, additional family members would be an additional $281 each added to the bottom line for the total.

Chowin’ Down

Food is the number one thing we all think about when we consider our monthly expenditures. After rent or a house payment to make sure we have shelter from the elements, we have got to get some food to keep us going.

As yet, Lyoness doesn’t have any major grocery chains as loyalty merchants, well if you don’t count Walmart. Walmart will figure into just about every other category in this budget discussion, and offers some great options to make your dollar go farther when used in conjunction with Lyoness. But as far as food goes, if you have a Walmart that can handle most or all of your grocery needs, you’re in good shape.

On that $777 projected spending for a family of four, you can earn 1% cash back. Not a ton, but remember that Walmart’s coupon policy is that they take everyone’s coupons. So just think of your Lyoness card acting as an extra 1% on every coupon you clip as well as the stuff you don’t.

But in the end, that $777 turns into $7.77 in your pocket. If there is a local Lyoness loyalty merchant that can satisfy your grocery needs, you’ll likely double your cash back to 2% and a total of $15.44.

And don’t forget – Near many a Walmart there is a Sam’s Club next door with great prices on bulk items and gas. One more way to save.

Home (and everything else) Is Where The Cash Is

Guys, once you purge the bachelor mentality from your head and start getting serious about finding that special girl, you’ll totally get this. Until then, You’ll just keep asking yourself, “What’s he mean, cleaning supplies?”

Cleaners, soaps, deodorants and everything else that makes your house a home are also available through Lyoness loyalty merchants. And while Walmart is great at 1% cash back, its chief competitor Kmart is trying to get some of their action with a 2% offering. So while the ‘Big K’ may not have a blue light special on meat, they will likely have it on just about everything else.

So on the remaining $688 in household, apparel, personal care and miscellaneous items you can glean another $13.76 without a lot of effort.

On The Go

The IRS’ chart leaves out one huge monthly expense from their estimate – Gasoline. You’ve got to have some go-go juice to get to your job, school and everywhere else. And at a national average of $3.78 (www.fuelgaugereport.com on 09/03/13) it’s certainly nothing to be overlooked.

AutoSpies.com reports that the average American family has 2.28 cars per household. We’ll round that down to two for the sake of our post and my less than stellar math skills. But let’s figure that will all of the commuting going on that each vehicle gets filled with $50 in gas three times a month. That may be a little high, unless one of your drivers is a teenager and then you’re probably thinking, “I spend that in a week!”

Believe me, I feel your pain. I can’t wait my teenage son gets a job and starts paying for his own gas, which will unfortunately mean he’ll never leave the house again.

But my problems aside, most of the gas stations in Lyoness will give you 1% cash back or $3.00 on those monthly purchases. Again, it’s not a lot, but its better than a poke in the eye with a stick.

Adding It All Up

adding_machine_dollars_hg_whtNow these are the basic needs that a family has and doesn’t include a night out once or twice a month or even gifts throughout the year. But on those essential purchases – things you’re already buying anyway – you could be making $24.53 a month on the low end. Find that 2% grocery store and it could jump to $32.30.

Now take a good, hard look at that number. If we use the $24.53 number, we’re talking about a free tank of gas every other month. That’s $294.36 a year. If we use the bigger monthly total it becomes $387.60.

Now who’s laughing at the small change?

But it ain’t over until the fat lady in the back office gets done singing.

La La La

In previous posts we’ve discussed how Lyoness gives you cash back with every purchase and puts money into your back office. And that’s exactly what’s happening with every one of the purchases we talked about above.

On every purchase on those essential items made through a Lyoness loyalty merchant, you’re earning the cash back plus at least 1% into your back office or “piggy bank”. That means that every month another $24.53 (yes, Kmart pays 2% into the back office too!) would be getting added to that piggy bank until it hits $75 total. A night or two out or maybe a gift purchase once a month would easily push that $24.53 to $25.00 and you’d be making a Lyoness Shopping Unit every three months.

I’m going to let those who wish to catch up on how units work do so by reading my post “A Unit by any other name“, but needless to say that they are a great bonus from the merchants for being loyal to them. As those units build and you share the program with others, they will pay big dividends down the road.

Oh, did I mention sharing Lyoness right there? I sure did.

Remember that if you shared Lyoness with just 10 people who shopped like what we’ve described above, you’d be getting 0.5% of all of their qualifying purchases with loyalty merchants in the program. So on $1,465 in purchases each month you’d realize $7.32. Multiply businessman_woman_shaking_hands_lg_whtthat by 10 and you’d earn an extra $73.20 in cash for sharing.

And if your 10 friends shared with 10 friends of their own, your Friendship Bonus would balloon to $805.75 a month.

That’s more than a few tanks of gas. In fact, it’s almost enough to keep my 18-year-old son in chicken nuggets and Gatorade for about a week. I swear that kid has a hollow leg.

So you can see that just by shopping and sharing the program, you can actually turn your expenses into income. It takes a little work, but then again anything worth having in life requires at least a minimal effort.

If you have further questions on Lyoness and how to earn cash back with every purchase, please post a comment below, drop me a line or follow this blog. As always, the information and the Lyoness membership are absolutely free.

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About Tim Allen

I am a former newspaper writer/editor/page designer that still loves to write and share my experience and views. I presently own a digital marketing firm and live in a small town in Big Sky country.

Posted on September 3, 2013, in Business / Finance and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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