The subject of savings has come up at so many of our dinners and meetings with friends. It's hilarious to talk to some of them who drop money into "piggy banks" in order to save for some special event or project. But it becomes so automatic and easy to just drop loose change into the piggy bank called "Retirement," "Vacation," "Movie Nights," or "Dinner Out."

Hubby and I have a special jar we drop our change into each evening that our son gave us last Christmas. It actually calculates the total as you drop it in, which really encourages us to save more as we watch the total move up every night. Then we have the infamous penny jar that goes to the bank every three months for the counting machine. It's almost mindless savings. I don't like a lot of change, as it loads down my pocketbook and makes it so heavy to carry.

We recently had a fundraiser for our new church addition and every member received a $2.00 bill to grow in a piggy bank over one year. At the end of that year, on the night we celebrated, we heard speeches from our friends; it was interesting to hear how their money had grown during that time. Some matched that $2.00 every day with another $2.00, and they were able to contribute over $700 to our building fund.

Others sacrificed their Starbucks coffee or one of their dinners out and put that amount in their piggy bank. Another couple gave up their weekly Friday night out for dinner and a movie for the cause. They said the movie costs $14 and their dinner $30, so over those 52 weeks they saved over $2,200 to contribute--wow! You know it really does add up-- all of that extra spending we never bother to track. Another really different tactic that a friend took while on Weight Watchers was to pay $1.00 every time she ate a cookie, a piece of pie or cake, or had a dish of ice cream that threw her over her allotted points. She would drop this in her bank as a penalty. I'm afraid I would be penalized almost daily on this one!

People really sacrificed to make a contribution to our church growth and some gave up wine, eating lunch out every day, and having manicures and pedicures. They could not do both, so they gave up one of their nicest luxuries in order to make a contribution.

I guess it all amounts to this: the investment you are trying to achieve, the depth of savings that is important for you to maintain, and what you are willing to sacrifice to reach that goal. We can all do it if we have the commitment and are disciplined.

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Linda Reese

Linda is a contributing writer for the Retired & Loving it blog. Linda is retired, married, and enjoying her retirement in a retirement community in Florida. She shares her experiences with others who are facing retirement or already there with posts on living on a fixed income, budgeting, and healthcare issues. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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