My inspiration for saving

My grandmother, Ann, lived through the Great Depression, managing to feed a family of five while pinching her pennies. Once I came along and grew older, I started to take notice of how she still held on to some of her old ways, despite the fact that she had managed to save a tidy sum for her golden years. It still interests me to this day to remember how she’d reuse items that most of us would just throw away. Not only would she hang a paper towel to dry after she’d used it to remove the moisture in the kitchen sink, but she’d save the Styrofoam from the bottom of meat packaging, clean it and reuse it as a plate for her morning grapefruit.

Today, reusing paper towels and foam meat packaging probably doesn’t sound appealing, but I use it as an example that even the littlest change in behavior can make a difference in your monthly bottom line. I’m not saying you have to give up all of life’s little luxuries, but cutting corners in areas where you won’t feel like you’re missing out is a great way to save money.

My father, on the other hand, is not so much a recycler/reuser, but he’s very into investing and saving at the grocery store. He’s the once who has shown me over the years that you can build a healthy nest egg if you put your mind to it without sacrificing too much. His newest hobby is clipping coupons and matching them up to the stores that are having sales and offering double (or even triple) coupons. The man reports to me with glee when he has “scored” at the store, and proudly shows me his receipts. Many items can be had for little or nothing, such as toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant. Sometimes, the store owes HIM money! Another favorite area of his is personal finance — he always reminds me of the importance of taking advantage of employer 401(k) plans and getting the best return on your savings.

I hope you’re inspired to make some changes in your life to reach your money-saving goals!

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