You want me to tell you how to get the best deals in the history of Earth and how you can use your savings skills to reshape your old water bottles into kitchen pots and pans? I’m not going to do that.
My goal is to try to get people to think about, establish and grow their own plan for regularly saving and investing to build your own way to wealth. I will encourage you to begin a real journey of saving and investing (regularly) by shaving off expenses and/or parts of expenses to establish a higher pattern of savings.
Let’s start with some beliefs we have that may strike you as unusual, but we want to encourage you to give them some more serious thought as you think about developing your own plan for saving and investing regularly.
1. What you make is NOT as important as the percentage of your after tax income that you are saving each month. If you have trouble saving, you might want to start with our “1% Savings Plan.” Read about it in past blog entries or get “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” at http://www.MiddleClassMoney.com to find out more. Everyone wants to focus on what they “make.” What you make is a number; what you save is the value you are building for your family from your work.
2. Checking accounts are MONEY LAUNDERING ACCOUNTS for OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. You must begin to see this as a leaky problem and use any excuse to pull any extra money out of checking and push it to real savings. If you don’t do this regularly, you are very likely “leaking money.”
3. Credit card companies and almost any major corporation is a corrupt entity that is in fact the ENEMY of your family. If you adjust your thinking to spot the differences between controlled needs and wants or marketing, you can save more money month after month, build real savings and eventual wealth.
4. Emergency savings has changed. Gone are the days of the 1980s and 1990s. You live in the 21st Century. That means your emergency savings should be 15 to 18 months of your expenses in money market savings and certificates of deposit.
5. Once you have achieved the proper emergency savings fund, you can begin to begin regular investing.
6. The #1 impairment to wealth in the middle class is debt. Credit card debt is the worst. See our recommendations on dealing with credit card companies and debt in general in “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” at http://www.MiddleClassMoney.com or read previous blog entries on controlling relationships with credit card companies and curbing and eliminating debt.
HOW TO JUMP START YOUR SAVINGS AND “GET IT GOING”
1. Your regular bills can probably be reduced. Call every company who sends a bill to your house. Ask them how you can reduce your monthly payment by 10 – 15%. Yes, they may say no. If they do, ask for a supervisor. Tell them you don’t want to have to go without, but tell them you are seeking a way to reduce your bills by 10 – 15% (be specific with them). And be open to their suggestions (including things like bundling). Be persistent. Don’t give up. Call once a week if you have to until you get some results. Whatever you can shave off of your monthly bills, put that money in savings on a regular basis (and pay yourself first before you pay any other bill each month).
2. When you shop for anything, do your shopping before you leave the house. In other words, have a list in advance of only what you need and stick to the list.
3. When you use coupons, coupon codes or negotiation to receive a negotiated price (lower than sticker), always put the money or percentage you saved in actual savings. If you don’t, you are not saving anything.
4. Look for additional ways (in addition to your day job) where you and your family can generate some additional dollars for the purpose of putting 100% of this money into pure investing (perhaps Vanguard mutual funds).
The truth is simple: People don’t often think about really begin aggressive on saving money until they are in trouble. Maybe it seems overwhelming. The facts are simple: Reduce debt, build savings and regularly save and invest to build wealth and gain more control over your personal financial life.
You can start on a path to higher savings and better investing TODAY. Just get started. Build your own plan with your family.
HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD
If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My own family didn’t believe in saving. They don’t believe in having a 401k. They have had “emergencies” all their lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. My parents thought they were shielding me from the realities of bills and worry. In fact, they were isolating me. I learned nothing until I had made many of the mistakes they made. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle. I have had to learn the hard way how companies mislead with marketing. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”)!
In this country we don’t do enough to teach our children about money, managing money, saving regularly (and automatically), compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future. As a parent, we are always concerned that they get a good education and go to a good college so they can make a lot of money or have a valued career path. The truth is that we could do our children the biggest favor and one of the best things by sharing with them sound saving and investing principles.
You can join our free Facebook group (or have your children do it, too) by searching in the Facebook bar on your “wall” for “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves.” Click on “become a fan.” It’s free and it ties our free blogs into that group.
If you want to give your children the same information we are giving ours, you can purchase the only thing we sell on any of our blogs or groups. It’s called “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” and you can get it for only $4.95 at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.
Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!
Connect with us on Facebook with these free groups:
“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
“Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves”
“The Money Store”
All on Facebook – join. It’s free.