America Saves Week

28 02 2011

Last week was America Saves Week! What is that exactly? It is a national effort to increase awareness about the need to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. A worthy cause, and counldn’t come at a better time.

The last few years have certainly been a squeeze on people’s wallets, and a big interest to reduce wasteful spending. People are more apt to brown bag their lunch at least a few times a week instead of eating out, and are not enjoying the regular morning coffees as much either. Will these efforts stand the test of time though? Will people continue to spend frugally as the recession days grow further and further behind us? (Slowly but surely, albeit.)

It will be very unfortunate if this time of wiser financial management has been merely a postponement of spending rather than a permanent change. Here’s a helpful type, which I found to be a great piece of advice when I was in college…. Don’t increase your spending just because your income increases. Think about it, if you lived comfortably under your income during the recession, and this year you FINALLY got that raise, you don’t have to spend it all before you get it. Use it to your advantage. Maintain your frugal budget and put that extra dough towards emergency savings, retirement nest egg building, and philanthropies. It’s not your initial impulse, but it is so wise, and think of how much more prepared you will be the next time there is a financial turn for the worst. (Because these things come in cycles.)

What have you learned from the recession period? What habits did you change during that time? Do you plan to continue to keep those changes in effect?

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