How to Save Money! – Tip # 2 “It Is All About Your Mindset”

I guess I was born with some crazy gene that makes me want to constantly figure out How to Save Money.  I have always been a frugal person and try to only make purchases when things are on sale or discounted, even when it isn’t my money being spent.

Save Money

Save Money as a Child?

I remember as a child saving all of my money in various piggy banks.  I had one piggy bank for each type of coin and then one for “bills”, the big stuff!  I would tuck these away in my closet behind all of the other things on the floor, to hide from all of my siblings. (This didn’t always work by the way, sorry for telling on my older siblings 35 years later).   I am not sure if I was taught “How to Save Money” or if it’s just part of me.

When I was 13, I had a huge squirrel collection (over 200 of them) and so wanted a curio cabinet to display my loves in my room.  I was saving money to buy the one, but the one I wanted was $300!  Back in the late 70’s, that was loads of money.   It was going to take me forever, but I had regular babysitting gigs to help.  I had a discussion with Mom and I ended up getting a loan from the credit union.  Mom co-signed and then I paid my $15/ month payments.  To this day, I don’t know if that was legit or if mom was just making me think I had a loan (Mom maybe you can chime in?).  The point is, I wasn’t spending my money on candy, clothes or toys.  I wanted something else and those other things didn’t matter.

College Students Can Save Money

For my twenty first birthday, I bought myself a new car!  This model car had only been out a year and I knew I wanted one.  It was a brand new Suzuki Samurai.  I didn’t make much money and the majority of what I did make went to paying back my student loans, but I saved and saved for that down payment.  I didn’t spend money on fancy new clothes, I cut corners on my grocery bills and I only bought what I really needed.  I remember some dinners would consist of the free food at “Happy Hour” along with the purchase of one drink ($1.25 or so).  I am not saying these were healthy choices, just choices to save.  I worked full-time and just worked as much as I could to make sure I could have my dream car.  If there was a chance to work overtime or pick up an extra shift, I would do it.

Married With Children

Later in life after being married, Alan and I really wanted our dream home.  We tucked away every penny and both worked very hard to save what we needed.  We didn’t buy extravagant things and lived within our means.  Eating out was a treat and not the norm and we stayed focused on the “prize”.  We managed to buy our dream home a couple of years later.  This was our first home, but it was a doozy.  We knew it was going to be big enough for us to grow into and we wouldn’t need to move after having kids.

Oops We Were Sucked In!

Years later after living in our perfect dream home, we realized we were sucked into the consumerism trap.  We now owned so many “things” and we weren’t saving as much. We had a big house and we filled it up with “stuff”.  We were a little more careless about eating out and buying too many things.  So the savings was not given too much attention.  We weren’t really saving for “something” in particular, so it wasn’t a focus for us.   We didn’t go crazy and always paid off credit card in full every month.  Our home value was in good shape, but we were just wasting money on things.  (probably need to cover in a future blog post)

Change in Economy

The economy was changing and we both worked for very large corporations.  People all over the country were being “let go” from their work.  This was not always a reflection on one’s performance, but sometimes being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  We knew that the odds were against us, no matter how dedicated we were to our employers.  The time may come where we were going to be let go.  We needed to start living with less, just as if we had lost our job.   It was time to focus and the saving began again.  This time it was our “Emergency Fund” (Ah, a purpose!!).

The time had come when we had to be serious about how to save money.  This would be the fund to help supplement, just in case one of us lost our jobs.   We wanted enough to make sure we could live our lives for several months, while the job hunt was on.  We analyzed what we were spending our money on and determined we could save here and there.  (Combining cable, phone and internet, cell phone plan adjustments, more frugal meals, fewer “things” around the house, only purchase what we really need mode).  This was so much easier to save when it was for a reason.  We set a certain $ amount to reach and then kept moving it up each time we got there.  No different from a goal and then stretch goal.

Take Control of Change

We then changed our and decided, why wait to lose our jobs.  Why don’t we take control of our destiny and make our own plans?  So that is what we did.  We changed our focus on How to Save Money to live in Abroad.  This was a serious how to save money mode we were in.  Over time, we will share all of the tips with you.   Little by little we cut corners and tucked money away.  We don’t have a huge pot of gold and we aren’t rich, but we do live a simple life.

The point of all of this reminiscing about my past – “It Is All About Your Mindset”.

“If you really want something, you will do what it takes to get it”.

You can save money! Make a goal and stick to it.  It may be a certain amount you are going to save each month.  What ever it is, make it, want it and do it.  Don’t dip into this savings, until you have reached your goal.

Where is your mind on this matter?


Check out our other money saving tips!

  1. Tip – Limit Eating Out
  2. Tip – Limit Warehouse Shopping 
  3. Tip – Cut Your Food Waste
  4. Tip – Brand Names
  5. Tip – Saving Money While On Vacation
This entry was posted in Finances, Tips and Tricks and tagged , , , by Heidi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She's visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you and we may receive a commission.

8 thoughts on “How to Save Money! – Tip # 2 “It Is All About Your Mindset”

  1. Our mindsets are very similar as you and I have discussed. I was a saver like you as a child, but once I moved out and got my first teaching job, I lost a little bit of that saver mode. I did have a Christmas club account at my credit union, so that forced me to save, which I liked. Once I met Randy, the savings bug bit big time again. We were Mississippi school teachers, so we each had to moonlight and work during the summers to make ends meet. However, even from this situation, we met with a financial adviser and figured out how much we could “pay ourselves first” each month to save up for our eventual retirement. At first, that number was pretty low. However, each time we got a raise, we upped the ante. Then, when we got our very well paying gov’t teaching jobs, we lived on just my salary and banked Randy’s entirely. Ooh boy, did the savings snowball start expanding quickly at that point! Lucky for us, the 16 years we worked and diligently saved while working overseas allowed us to leave the working world almost two decades before the “traditional retirement age” that most people wait for. We are living the dream and so happy that we have been on the same page all along. If we can do it, everyone can.

    • Exactly! Thanks so much for the comment Lori! We sure miss you guys. Hopefully you are having a nice holiday season retired in Chiang Mai! 🙂 We are in Hoi An Vietnam for Christmas and it is just beautiful here. The pay yourself first and saving that bonus/raise is key. Perhaps even another post for the saving money series. Hugs!

  2. I needed this post as a gentle reminder-we are more in control of our finances, but are still waaay off being free! Thanks

    • Baby steps Melanie! You will get to where you want to be. Just make sure you do a mind check with yourself regularly on your goals, wants and needs. We didn’t make our leap of “being free” mode for an indefinite amount time to start, but hopefully it will be long enough to figure out how to keep it going. Sometimes you just need to take the plunge with less lofty goals too.

  3. Love your mindset! I like being ‘frugal” also and always setting money aside for a rainy day. Have it a few of those days and it was nice not to have to panic.

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