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Having a Money Saving Plan

There was a generation or two that retired at 65 or even earlier and had enough money saved to take cruises and do other interesting things. That is not the present generation of working people. Social security is scheduled to run out all too soon and in the recent financial troubles, many people have lost money in their 401k retirement accounts.

Unfortunately, the generation that is scheduled to run out of social security is the generation that has lived on credit and has not saved much money. To top it off, this is the generation that is likely to owe more on the house than it is worth. What a mess!

One of the reasons we have lived on credit is that we were raised with the idea that anything worth having is worth having now, particularly if ninety days are the same as cash. We have not been forward-looking and we have typically assumed that we’ll keep our jobs and be able to pay at least the minimum on each credit card.

It’s time for a new way of thinking

The first thing that has to change is our desire to have what we want right now, and that includes financial security and freedom for the future. It’s easy to put off thinking about the future or to get so discouraged by it that we don’t do anything about it because it takes so long to achieve financial security; we can’t have it right now. But the future is going to get here, whether or not we pay attention to it.

It’s time to look at discretionary spending and, in fact, to reconsider what is absolutely necessary and what might be optional. Mortgage and taxes are necessary but cable and internet are not. Whatever you decide to cut back in your discretionary spending should go towards paying off credit cards and creating an emergency fund.

You may also be able to have more pre-tax dollars taken from your paycheck for your retirement without reducing your pay check drastically. Get the human resource people to help you figure this out.

It’s also time to look at ways to save money, such as changing spending habits, as well as ways to make a little extra money, such as getting a second job or creating a small business online. If you have expensive toys such as a boat or an ATV, maybe it’s time to put them in someone else’s hands and use the money to pay down debt.

Belt tightening is hard, particularly when you have never had to do it before and never dreamed it would ever be necessary. We know, however, our grandparents did it during the depression and they became a great generation, moving us successfully through financial hard times, a major war, and helping to create the strong economy into which we were born. It’s time for us to learn to do the same.


  1. You are so right, this generation is a right now society and often neglect their future livelihood over things they could very well do without.

  2. I think it’s really ironic what a bad rap millennials get from older generations, yet if you look at the fiscal irresponsibility on both a micro and macro level it’s incredible.

  3. The personal debt timebomb will be interesting as it unfolds. Of course, our federal deficit has followed similar trends. Us Millennials will have to save more money because I do not believe this trend can continue indefinitely without consequences. But us and future generations will feel the ripple effects.

  4. Every generation that has come and gone faced their own version of financial calamity. I don’t think the millennials will be any worse or better off than previous generations. Somehow, time seems to smooth things over and we all manage and life goes on. Imagine having a “savings plan”or “investing plan” during the depression. All the rules went out the window except for common sense. How about living through a world war or two for that matter. Imagine all the doom and gloom in those days. Kind of hard to be optimistic when the world as you know is essentially a war zone. Or how about the 70s and 80s period of ridiculous inflation. Life went on. People still bought food, had credit cards and mortgages. We can’t even imagine how they managed in those days. We flinch if we see a mortgage rate near 4%. How about 18% or more! Stick to common sense, save, invest in income producing assets as well as other assets and somehow we’ll make it to 2017, 18, 19 and beyond.

    • Honestly, with the way things are going on in the world right now. I think the worse is yet to come. However, like you said, using common sense to safeguard and protect your assets is a sure way to protect you and your family.

  5. This reminds me of a TV show that Tristan and I watched recently, “Back in time for the weekend” – a fantastic British mini series that outlined how money and leisure time has been spent since the 1950s up until the 1990s and how it has drastically changed. Watching that show made me realise it is NO WONDER the generation born in the 60-70s and later have massive issues with self control, debt, credit cards, consumerism.. The first credit cards were released in the 70s and marketed as a revolution (and most people believed it, “buying” into it).

    If you compare the 1950s to now – in the 1950s there wasn’t “leisure time” the traditional female role was 70-80 hours a week of housework (hand washing clothes, no vacuum cleaners..) and men worked unregulated hours with no designated time off as there were no unions standing up for workers, you didn’t hire a “handyman” – all repairs and improvements were done by the man of the house, even if he had to learn in the process and women repaired/mended clothes and reused fabrics.

    I wouldn’t want to go back to the 1950s, but we can definitely take a few lessons from their way of life (though they can keep their strict gender roles and lack of equality) – they are probably the last generation to have retired comfortably, I know my grandparents (born 1940s) are doing very well for themselves, meanwhile my parents (born 1960s-70s) are in the worst debt of their lives and selling their house because they cannot afford it, let alone have any money set aside for retirement..


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