Save Gobs of Money - Frugal Confessions

Suffering from anemic bank account syndrome?

The cause can be any number of reasons—debt repayment, living paycheck to paycheck, a recent large purchase that wiped you out, handing your savings over to Amazon.com and companies that sell delicious-smelling (albeit expensive) candles…

Whatever the reason, here’s the question to ask yourself:

Is your work-energy spent reflected in your current savings account and investments?

Snapshot of Your Lifetime Earnings 

I know ours wasn’t.

In September 2010, after 14 months of using frugality laced with a smart strategy to pay down $25,000 in non-mortgage debt, we had about $1,400 left in savings. It was time to rebuild, and then build beyond anything we had ever thought we could.

You, me, and everyone else work hard for our paychecks. We leave our families, commute long distances away from home, put ourselves into uncomfortable situations…the least we can do for ourselves is to keep as much of our moolah as possible.

Cultivate the Savings Mindset…

save money

Chances are, you’ve earned a pretty penny in your lifetime. Unfortunately, not enough of it has been for keeps.

Saving money is important for reasons far beyond numbers; a healthy bank account gives you breathing room, stops you from going into debt from an emergency, and is the building block for being able to design your own life.

Whether you dream one day of working part-time, being a stay at home Mom or Dad (SAHM, SAHD), retiring early, starting up your own business, or traveling to all of those places on your Pinterest boards, savings will get you there (and interest earned on top of savings will get you there even faster!).

save gobs of money collage

What will free up more of your money for savings? Frugality {and not the boring kind}.

Frugality then (pay off debt) + frugality now (accumulate savings)

I want to show people the true muscle of frugality, both in good times, and in bad times. Frugality is not just a tool to use when you hit hard times and abandon the moment things turn around (what the majority of folks do). The people who practice frugality in the good times are the ones who will evolve financially from paying off debt all the way through to designing their lives.

Isn’t that what you want to do?

A good place to start if you have an anemic bank account is to establish a proper emergency fund (aka, the Oh sh*t fund). This will put a healthy buffer between you and debt.

Finding Money to establish the ‘oh sh*t’ fund

Many times, a savings problem is not with our paycheck, but rather with our behavior towards money (specifically our love of giving it up too easily for something new and shiny).

I caution against working your life away to meet your spending appetite. Instead, curb your spending appetite and live a fuller life. Over-consumption steals money + time + energy from yourself.

Curb Your Spending…

Now that we are non-mortgage debt free in our household, we have continued with frugality and are reaping the benefits: a healthy savings that will be the foundation for great things to come. Each year we challenge ourselves to save even more money while simultaneously living our lives to the fullest (frugal decadence at its best). I’m always up for a challenge!

Turn up the heat…

Even if you are frugal, you may be over-consuming…

Protect your money against life…

As you build your savings, you will want to look for low-cost ways to invest your money and grow its power to fuel your dreams. Or perhaps you have already begun to do this. Personal Capital is a free service that takes a snapshot of all of your assets and lets you know cool and super-useful things like how much in fees are getting sucked out of your portfolio, and if you are well-diversified (heck, even knowing what your portfolio is invested in for those of us who don’t keep track of mutual funds and bundled 401(k) packages offered at work).

All of this is in preparation for creating more time, energy, and space in your life for the good things to come (aka, it’s time to Shift UP).

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