Saving Money

This post may contain affiliate links to products that I recommend and I may earn money or products from companies mentioned in this post.   Please check out my disclaimer page for more information.

The Saving Money Guide: Saving Money Strategies That Work

Saving Money

Why Do We Save Money?

The basis of saving money is different for everyone.  Most of the reasoning on why people save money comes down to security.  Nobody can actually predict the future, yet.  As a result humanity has the intent to save money.

We save money so we can become financially secure and provide a safety net for the future.  We don’t know what the future holds about our lives.  By saving money, we are trying to financially prepare ourselves for the future as best we can.

My Top Saving Money Strategies

When Did We Stop Saving Money?

There is no question that more people these days should be saving money.

And, Americans used to save money and part of their income.  That was the case back in the 60s and 70s.

  • Even up until the first Regan term, 90% of households were only saving 10% of their income.  From, that point forward, household savings rates have declined.

I have to believe that what I do read in the history books is true; it was just easier to live every day life back then.

A large majority of households in the 60’s and 70’s were one income.

American households earned income, saved income, and then purchased.  That was the equation and how it worked.

Earn Income + Save Income = Purchases

That is not the case today.  The equation has changed.

Looking for more articles about saving money?  I have a full list at the bottom of this page.

Why Don’t We Save More Money?

why dont we save more money

There are several reasons for this however the underlying theme has to do with our lifestyles and everyday choices we make.  Some of the reasons are listed below:

1. Incomes Stopped Growing

One reason that is partially to blame is income growth.  From 1960 to 1973, income per capita grew at an annual rate of 3.2%.  But in the following two decades, income growth rate fell by half to just over 1.0% annually.

Income did pick back up in the 90’s again.  However, Americans didn’t return to saving.  They never restarted saving their income.  When the 90’s hit, that changed everything.

2. The 90’s.

The 1990’s were good years for economic growth for the United States.  Starting in 1995, a housing boom occurred.  Prior to 1995, not a lot of housing stock was being built for single families.

And for families trying to increase their savings, this was a very difficult thing to do now.

Starting in the late 1990’s consumers really began to find their voice and their way.  They were starting to live for the moment, and not plan or save for the future anymore.

Even to this day, we still live in a consumer-driven society.  When we see the newest iPhones, gaming systems, or automobiles, we must have them now.  Our immediate gratifications we have must be satisfied and we don’t have time to wait or save income for that matter.

3. Easy Access to Credit

With access to easy credit, people no longer followed the equation of:

Earn Income + Save Income = Purchases

Households were able to bypass the second step.

They no longer needed to save income to make purchases because of this thing called credit.  What also occurred with easy access to credit was that saving and planning for the future was easy reduced or eliminated.  People were able to make up with decades of flat wages with credit card and debt purchases.

4. Keeping up with the Jones

keeping up with jones

Another thing happened with access to easy credit was the ability to have a better life now and pay for it later on down the road.  A lot of households started buying new houses in the suburbs, fancy new cars, and furniture to fill those new houses.

Many saw their best friends and neighbors leave well established neighborhoods in search for this better “wealthier” life.

That transition of lifestyle, made a lot of households think “hey if the Jones can move out to the suburbs, build a new house, and buy a new car, then we can do that too.”

I like to call this “Contagious Consumerism” but it is also known as “Keeping up with the Jones.”

Living a Jones lifestyle isn’t cheap.

A lot of households were faced with higher costs for their new houses, higher taxes, and higher utilities.

These were things that they may not have initially been planning on or may never have had at their former neighborhoods.

5. Debt Crisis

Keeping up with the Jones also gave rise to something new as well.  Enter household debt.

For a lot of these families, their financial equation changed.  It was now:

Earn Income + Purchases = Debt Payments

Wait what happened to saving income?

In this equation, many households never achieved the step saving income. 

The answer to that is because there was none left over at the end of the month.  All of their income was committed to paying down credit that occurred due to flat wages they experiences for decades.

Households still have debt today.

The same trend exists.  It’s not as visible today because the economy and stock market are charging ahead.  But, subprimes are back, mortgage rates are low, and house prices are very high.  It’s the perfect storm.

A lot of people are overextended and unable to pay back all of their loans.

We saw this in 2008 with the implosion of the housing market and subprime lending.

Now 11 years later, we are repeating the same pattern.  History repeats.

Many households are overextended.  Some cannot pay back the total balance of money borrowed.

As a result they become hostage to their monthly interest charge and their balances continue to grow.  Their financial troubles and that become deeper and deeper.

Money Saving Strategies

Even with all of these obstacles of the past, there are easy ways to save money.  Take a look at my top money saving strategies below:

All Saving Money Articles

Latest Posts