It is possible to save money if you really want to. The bottom line is that everything is a choice. If you want to save, then make the choice to save and do it. Even if you are only saving $5 a week in change, it is still money, and you are saving it. All saving really means is not spending! And if you save it in a way that it actually makes you extra money (such as investing), then even better!
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Whole Life Insurance
THE WATER JUG - saving all our loose change just for fun. Mostly quarters, but nickels and dimes as well. Last year we needed a little extra money when we were buying our camping trailer so we counted it out. It was enough to help us finish buying the trailer and to buy the extra necessaries for inside it. It was a lot of fun counting it (There was no way we were giving away 10% to some machine!). This is good as long as you don't touch it for a good 5 years or so. By then it is enough to do something worthwhile with or use for something you might want. We started filling it up again right away!
BANK SAVINGS ACCOUNTS - savings for small and large scale emergencies. We have one for small scale emergencies such as if the dishwasher or refrigerator needs to be replaced. Then we have a larger one for bigger emergencies. The experts say everyone should have enough saved to cover about 6 months worth of bills. We are currently still working on this. Much easier said than done! I do not add money to the small emergency account unless I take some out. Whatever I take out I replace as soon as I can. For the bigger emergency account, I have a certain amount automatically transferred into it each month from my checking account. It continues to build and when we need it we do our best to replace it as soon as possible.
WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE - this is for both life insurance and for retirement. I started it 20 years ago and it earns more interest than any savings account out there right now. Although many people along the way have told me it is a waste, I stuck with it because it protected my children if something happened to me and it was saving money for my retirement over the long term. Yes, I know if I had invested it in stocks it would have probably made much more by now, but remember, it was also about protecting my children just in case. Now it is earning such good interest it would be foolish to get rid of it.
RETIREMENT SAVINGS - I have money taken out of every paycheck that goes directly to being invested in the stock market (by a professional). It has made money over the years and continues to build though there have been some down times where I had less than I put in. Of course this is market dependent, but over the long run it is worth it to do. The other important point here is that the money comes out of my paycheck before I get it. I don't feel a thing - trust me, you get used to less money very quickly. If you're not sure, then start out slow at only $25 or $50 dollars a paycheck. It builds up faster than you think!
IRA's - we do this not only for retirement, but to save at tax time. We do the tax deferred IRA when we do our taxes. The amount you save on your taxes will vary depending upon what you make, but for us it is worth it. Also, depending upon your age you may be able to contribute more than the standard $2,000.
INCOME TAX REFUND - I always claim zero so that they deduct the greatest amount for state and federal taxes out of my paycheck. I even have them take out extra from my second job. I do this because the absolute last thing I want to do is owe taxes in April and believe me it has happened. Wait until you don't have any children to claim anymore! Also, if you owe the government money they charge you a fee for underpaying! So I would rather make sure they have extra money during the year and that they are sending me a check. It's never a lot, but it is enough that I can reasonably count on it as savings! And again, it's painless this way. No stress!
SIMPLY BEING FRUGAL EVERY DAY - There are many ways to be frugal. Some were shared in Bills and Other Debt, and others were discussed under Shopping, and even more were under Inexpensive Fun. However there are plenty of other ways to be frugal simply on a daily basis! What about being frugal in and around the house, yard, etc.? Well, you can find those ideas here in the new Frugal Series I am blogging about. The first one "10 FRUGAL KITCHEN SECRETS" is below and stay tuned for more to come!