Chapter 11. Saving Money

Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was a negative 0.8 percent in March 2007, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is the lowest level of any industrialized nation.

How does that happen in the wealthiest nation in the world? There are many theories out there, but one theme that seems consistent throughout is that we are an incredibly materialistic society. We tend to measure success by our possessions. Stacey and I think that there are so many pressures out there to "keep up," as you saw in Chapter 5, that living beyond our means has become a way of life for many of us. Savings have become an acceptable loss in the battle to make ends meet, and those "ends" cost a lot more than they used to!

Believe me, we're not judging anyone. These pressures are drummed into us from such an early age from the media, our peer groups, and our communities that it's a wonder we don't completely lose sight of our values. In this chapter, we're going to make sure that the ways in which you save money reflect your core beliefs.

Why It's Important to Save

Let's start by calling a savings account what it really is—insurance. It's insurance that you can continue to live the lifestyle of your choice in the future, and honor your goals and dreams. Perhaps you want to see the world, start a business one day, or send your child to college. Savings also protects the life you've worked so hard to create if something unexpected occurs. Nothing ...

Get The True Cost of Happiness: The Real Story Behind Managing Your Money now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.