Over the last several weeks I have been listening to personal finance podcasts and reading many other personal finance blogs.  All offer suggestions on how to save money and what to do so that it grows.  They all extol the benefits of 401K, IRAs, and other traditional methods to save for retirement.

That is where the likeness ends for many.  Same endgame, different routes.

Some believe that being frugal is the path. That having 25 pairs of shoes, or a closet full of dresses, suits or jeans is unnecessary as we can do with less than that.  Many go to extremes with this.  Eating boiled noodles every day because they only cost $2. One buys two-ply toilet tissue and separates them into two and cuts open the toothpaste tube to get the last bit. Wearing faded, full-of-hole t-shirts are the norm.

Many use The Latte Factor, how small daily expenditures add up, as an example of how small savings over time add up. Those that disagree with this say that saving such a small amount does nothing and you should focus on the bigger gains.  like getting a high paying job and only focus on big wins. Want that large $7 cup of coffee, go ahead.  it only costs $7.

My thinking, take the what works best for you and disregard what does not. some of the things I started with:

• I did not cut the cable, but got rid of every channel we did not watch.

• Still buy the latte, just not every day.

• I de-cluttered my house one room at a time and stopped wasting money on stuff that just cluttered my life.

• I don’t buy bottled water; a reusable bottle that has a carbon filter does the trick.

Remember these three simple rules:

1. Spend less than you earn.

2. Eliminate debt.

3. Save, save, save…

No one wants to end up poor and in debt, do your part and help yourself. There are many ways to cut out unnecessary expenses. Please share any that have worked for you.

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