You are me only 20 years go! My wife and I practiced the following:
1) We made extra payments on our mortgage when we could.
2) We clipped coupons and always bought on sale
3) brown bagged it
4) avoided $4 cups of coffee
5) bought a modest home we could afford.
6) never, never used credit card debt. I work in the credit card business and I can tell you those little plastic squares can ruin a marriage and family.
7) when extra money came our way we spent a little and invested the rest. We bought modest amounts of dividend paying stocks. When that first dividend comes in it is an awesome feeling.
drove the same car for 13 years and when we did buy it wasn't a Mercedes.
9) a big night out was take home chinese or pizza and a $1 movie
10) we refinanced when the rates were favorable.
11) We took vacations that we paid cash for
The results of this life style "living like so few do" are wonderful. When money concerns are removed from your life you will achive an inner peace that is better then any yoga session. Your focus changes, you feel in control. I grew up in a paycheck to paycheck house. If anything broke car, boiler or whatever it was a disaster. It was stressful, not healthy and took our focus off living and enjoying life. Now I spend my days pondering where and when to retire - the choices are endless.
I do not fear the layoff, dental bill or broken transmission. It is a great way to live. So when you feel a little discouraged think about the end game...It is so worth the discipline. I feel truly blessed.
My lunch Thursday was peanut butter and jelly whole wheat sandwich and a mug of chicken soup that I bought from home. The discipline never changes.