Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is It Possible to Pinch Our Pennies Even Tighter?

As you know from reading this blog, I'm a regular saver. I'm always trying to stretch my dollars just a little bit further. I used to love watching the bars on my net worth chart in my financial software program creep higher each month. I felt a sense of accomplishment -- like my penny-pinching was paying off. Now, of course, my net worth chart seems to be plummeting nearly every day. Ugh.

I rationalize that the accounts that are tanking are nearly all for retirement, and we don't need that money for decades. All will be well. However, as this economic problem drags on and seems to get bigger daily, I get a little more concerned about the short term (meaning, our jobs).

We'd be okay for a few months if one of us lost our job. Survival -- paying the monthly bills -- is a slight concern, but it's not overwhelming at this point. But what is irritating is the thought of not being able to saving...of having to use our savings for every day expenses and not for the big dreams and goals we have. I have a great plan all mapped out. However, if the income part of that plan is pulled out in a significant way, it will completely fall apart. After all, we aren't financially independent.

So, over the next few posts I'll tell you about how I'm trying to turn our usual savings up a notch. It's nothing super drastic at this point. But I firmly believe the little things count. They add up to be big savings. We are fortunate in the fact that things are clipping along as usual. Actually, we both recently got raises! But I don't think we should take that for granted. We are staying pretty serious about saving...however, we are also still spending (goodness knows, the economy needs us to spend!). Stay tuned to find out where and how I'm tightening the belt a little more.

If you are doing the same, let me know. I'm always looking for new ideas!

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1 comment:

Kate said...

This post hits close to home. My husband and I were both out of work a few years ago. We lived on savings and a part-time job and came out of it without huge debt, but our savings were gone. I pray that it never happens again, but I worry about losing all that we've worked for.

I got a free gallon of organic milk today-- the "specialty" grocery store where I shop has the cheapest organic in town ($4.99- a buck less than Kroger) and a loyalty program. I just got my $50 coupons for this quarter. That's off any purchase (other than liquor).