Simple ways to 'find' money
The recent "emergency fund" thread has reminded me of how I "got there" with respect to establishing a reserve fund.
I've never experienced overwhelming personal debt. Why? We have a monthly BUDGET. And our budget includes SAVINGS! more importantly;
1.) We live BELOW our means. We always have, and for many years (and even now) we've endured relentless teasing about our "tightwad" tendancies. We've questioned ourselves again and again about our choices, we've cringed at some of the things our friends have said to us. But we've emerged PERFECTLY FINE about it all.
2.) We've worked tirelessly to control the simple, day to day "costs" we all face. We have all regularly used appliances (the computer, the TV, the stereo) on "surge protectors". We switch them on when we want to use them. More importantly, we switch them OFF when we're finished using them. Any appliance that has a light indicating "readiness" or a timer waiting to be "set" is summarily UNplugged when not in use. Our electric bill was pushing $100/mo.. After instituting the above changes it fell to under $50/mo.. Think about the ramifications with respect to global warning if WE ALL did that...
3.) We eat at home. We buy ingredients and we make dinner. We eat "leftovers". We "brownbag" leftovers for lunch. I have never been to Starbucks, and I'm PROUD OF IT, it's a rip-off, you guys! I'm fine with it being a once weekly "treat"... but every day? An honest talley of the money spent there would likely buy 1/2 tank of gasoline for your car. A thermos is a lot cheaper.