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What are your strategies and tricks for saving money? Do you feel you are saving enough?”

7 replies so far...

  • My saving strategy is an extremely frugal/savings-oriented husband. He's been really great about insisting we take a disciplined approach to it.

    Between 401ks, our daughter's 529 plan, and automatic deductions, we save about 30 - 35% of our gross income. Having the money taken out of checking automatically is key.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by TracyB on 12th September 2007

  • I definitely don't feel like we're saving enough, but we've been working on doing better. Theoretically we make decent money, but we've got issues with taxes and a couple of high fixed expenses that seriously dent cash flow. Our credit cards are just about paid off, though, and we're going to be very careful to limit future use. Our short-term financial planning includes setting aside money for taxes and special, planned expenses via transfers to savings that we treat like monthly bills. Both of us have employer-funded retirement plans at work that we're not currently adding any of our own contributions to, and that may be the next thing we need to address. The kids' college funds were set up by their grandparents.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Florinda Pendley Vasquez on 4th September 2007

  • Um, if being cheap is considered being disciplined about money, then I am REALLY disciplined. Other than that, my husband is a financial planner and (thankfully) follows all of the conventional wisdom -- contributes to our retirement funds, puts aside a certain amount each month into a well diversified portfolio of mutual funds, etc. for our finances. (Girls, if you think marrying a doctor is the ideal, think again. For your next husband, get one of THESE. Or better yet, BECOME one of these). Our parents have also scaled back on giving our kids expensive toys (which they don't need) and they contribute to their education funds and they pay for some of our extracurricular activities instead.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Amy@UWM on 4th September 2007

  • This is an area I think we do well in. For retirement, my husband maxes out his 401K and I used to until a few months ago when I went freelance. On top of that, we each max out an IRA each year. In addition, we have some money in mutual funds and stocks. I'm looking into investment options now that I am freelance to "replace" that 401K money I used to have, thouh obviously we will be working with less money now.

    We also contribute to a 529 for our daughter monthly (and she is only 8 months old) and have cash to cover 6 months of expenses in an online savings account. I also save 50 percent of every penny I earn as a freelancer to cover taxes (so hopefully we'll have some left over!).

    Almost all of our savings comes out automatically from our paychecks so that you don't have to think about it much. I compare it to exercising - once you get in the habit, it is easy to keep it up. Just start small and go from there. Like exercise, you start to see it pay off over time.

    Our savings rate might have to reduce a little depending on my earnings as a freelancer, but so far so good.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by StacyAnne on 4th September 2007

  • Starting a retirement fund is on my list of things I MUST do before the end of the calendar year. Right now, I don't save enough. I save 25% of every penny I earn in a savings account for my taxes. But I am thinking of increasing that to 35% and having the other 10% go into a retirement fund.

    Don't even get me started on the kids' education or paying down credit card bills. (Hint, doing better at paying down debt than saving for college...)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jen Creer on 4th September 2007

  • We contribute a set amount each month to a 529 plan for our daughter, a bit to our investment account, and a bit to 401k - before we had our daughter we'd both max out 401k at work, but as our expenses grew, we've tempered that. Recently I've also set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings each month - it's not much, but it helps to have it go without seeing it. The one trick I use for saving money is when I see something that I want to buy - I usually try to not buy it right then but sit on it for a while. If I still think it's needed, I'd get it, but often this waiting period results in figuring out that life will be just fine without that particular item.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 4th September 2007

  • We have a pre-set amount taken out of my husband's paycheck each month. If we never know we had it, we don't even miss it!

    I have been hearing alot about banks that offer debit cards that round up every debit to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference automatically into our savings account. I use my debit card for EVERYTHING so I'm considering looking into that as it seems like a really easy way to save even a tiny bit of money each month.

    - Danielle

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Danielle Walsmith on 4th September 2007