From Yahoo’s front page, comes this article on 8 surefire ways to save $100, with this quote:
Note: To make the savings last, you need to set the money aside that you save after completing the above tasks.
If you merely congratulate yourself for saving money, but don’t separate the money into another account, it will likely be spent on other things and the savings will never materialize.
I found the tips (sell stuff, compare prices, use coupons) to make sense as the article is targeted to an audience just dipping their toes into the debt reduction/money saving waters.
The problem with this sort of one size fits all advice is that it doesn’t always work. I don’t have a mortgage, so I can’t refinance my house. And if I usually buy generics, their suggestion to save $2 a week through clipping coupons isn’t going to help me out. Sometimes I get really frustrated by the lack of specific advice tailored to my specific situation. I want somebody to spoon-feed me answers darn it! What do you mean I have to figure it out for myself!
So far, my method of stumbling through the forest seems to be paying off; I’m learning more and more about how to manage my money. But even though I consider myself to be more knowledgeable now then when I started, I still need to remind myself not to forget the basics: if you don’t set aside your savings, then they don’t really count!