Most families understand how hard it can be to save money, especially after the recent years of economic downturn. However, saving money is central to building up a nest egg for retirement, college funds and family vacations. Even saving a little and investing that money can help consumers put back some cash for a rainy day.
Finding the money to invest is the most difficult part. The first step to creating a budget and savings plan is to understand that a few mostly-painless sacrifices will need to be made. Most people who work outside the home are completely oblivious to how much cash they drop over the course of a week. From the expensive coffee-house mocha to the fast-food lunch on the go, hundreds of dollars can easily be wasted every week. Instead, make a plan to brew your own coffee at home for the drive to work, and brown-bag it more than half of every month. Your bank account will thank you for it.
Some families are taking more extreme measures in saving money. For instance, Americans have largely forgotten how to live without cable television programming. With fees over $100 per month, it makes much more sense to invest in programming-on-demand service or watch a few select television shows online. Another great way to save money is by comparison shopping for cell phone and Internet service providers. You can often get a much better deal as a new customer than you can when renewing your contract. If your commitment term is nearly up, this is a great time to look into a better–and cheaper–provider.