It’s tough to live in what I call “the hard middle.” By the time you reach “middle age,” you are grinding it out with multiple priorities of family life, job, debt and a variety of things that only come with the words middle age.
But do you remember when you were a kid? Do you remember those ads for the Blow Pop? You know, “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Blow Pop?”
Most American families are struggling with the power of the great recession and the pull backs by corporations and small businesses who are allowing fear to drive business decisions. You can’t blame these companies. After all, we have seemingly been to the edge and everyone is watching the decision makers in politics and economics to see how or when they can get the U.S. economy back on track.
How can you add true savings to the mix of family priorities and bill paying even if you may face a no raise environment (or have suffered from a reduction in pay over the last several years)?
Steady and regular savings should not be optional in any family that wants to survive and thrive in the next two decades.
You can begin by calling a family meeting and simply brainstorming about current and past spending for the purpose of reducing expenses now and in the future.
If you don’t have a savings plan in place today, go to past blog entries to see our “1% Savings Plan.” It may knock your socks off and it can absolutely increase your steady savings without killing your lifestyle.
Look at all the money you spend for any reason. Take your cue from the major corporations: Reduce your expenses across the board by talking to EVERY company that sends a bill to your home. Negotiate with them to reduce your bill with them by 10 – 15% each month. Be open-minded to their suggestions and be consistent and relentless. If they say no, ask for a supervisor. Tell them you really want to remain a customer of theirs, but tell them you need help. It may take multiple calls, but you will be happy when they give a little breathing room. Any percentage they give to you, you must add to your REGULAR and STEADY monthly savings from that point forward.
Think of it this way: The money you make is only important until you pay for your very basic food and shelter for the family. The real IMPORTANT and KEY money that flows to your family IS ONLY WHAT YOU SAVE & INVEST.
This is 2010 (almost 2011). We must become more aggressive about steady savings and investment. Focusing your family and including everyone in this will be a powerful friend to help you build wealth.
In 2010, you should have 15 to 18 months of your expenses in emergency savings. Don’t have it? Don’t worry. Just get started. It will build faster than you can imagine.
Slow and steady really does win the race. Put it to the test. You’ll be glad you did.
You can do it.
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. Our people have had “emergencies” all our lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly, and our family is not different than millions of other good American families. 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 have had to learn from my own mistakes over time. 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 or allowing “it” to overwhelm you. 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”) associated with our mission!
It is our goal to encourage everyone to teach our children about money, managing money, and saving regularly (and automatically. Children should receive lessons about compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future before they face the hard choices of adult life while being subjected to the consequences of the high-speed marketing culture we live in. 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 by simply 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. You can get our free e-saver newsletter by signing up at http://www.StickyAsset.com/blog.
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.
Good luck to you and your children.
Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!
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“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
“Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves”
All on Facebook – join. It’s free.