When Steve and Annette Economides got married in 1982, they made a conscious decision to always live below their means. The couple from Scottsdale, Arizona, even made the pact a part of their wedding vows.
Then the car broke down.
This is usually the part in the story where taking on a little bit of debt seems perfectly OK to do. After all, Americans collectively owe nearly $12 trillion in outstanding household debt. Sometimes other alternatives are simply out of reach.
Looking to save versus spend? Eager to sock money away not just for a rainy day but potentially for stormy months, even years, ahead?
Consider heading to the Heartland.
The Midwest is home to some of the very best places to save money and get ahead in the U.S., according to a new analysis by Get Rich Slowly.
Living paycheck to paycheck is never easy, but it doesn't have to mean you can't save for the future. Everyone needs a savings nest egg or emergency fund.
The solution is to get prepared now, no matter what it takes. (And know that you aren't alone! One study by the Federal Reserve found that most Americans have $400 or less in cash savings.)
Andrew and Amanda Argue were both working for public accounting firms in Miami, Florida, when they met. As young, ambitious professionals, they fell right into the hard-charging lifestyle of certified public accountants -- where your rapid ascension to partner is determined by the number of hours you rack up. Managing their career trajectories meant that eating out became the norm because, as Amanda put it ...
“There was no way I was going to work 80 hours and then come home to cook.”
Andrew brought $55,000 of student loan debt to the marriage, which he never thought twice about. Amanda had no debt, and it was only after they were married that she discovered Andrew had his.
My wife and I are both reading America's Cheapest Family by Steve and Annette Economides. During his time as an ad salesman, Steve was "shocked to read in a food industry publication that grocers expect six of ten items consumers pick up in the store to be unplanned purchases."
Steve and Annette discovered that scientific research backs up what grocers already knew. In their book, the Economides cite a study analyzing the decisions of 4,200 customers who made 30,000 purchases in fourteen different cities. Researchers found: