I recently spoke to a teacher and he used the term "Splitting the Penny," to describe his strategy for taking care of day-to-day family expenses, while trying to save for long-term goals. (He manages to tuck a way a bit each month for retirement and other long-range goals.)
Here are the targets & there aren't enough arrows to hit some of these goals.
*short-term funds for vacations, gifts, holidays, etc
Spitting the Penny is a difficult dance for many families, especially those earning low salaries or living paycheck to paycheck, (P2P), a status that surprisingly includes some families with six-figure incomes. Getting out of the P2P circuit is tricky.
My goal is to aggressively increase the size of my Emergency Fund. Most experts recommend a target of three to six months of your salary/or expenses. I've been brainstorming for painless and/or practical methods to beef up my emergency fund. My ideas are below and please send an email: Sharonhr@bellsouth.net or leave a comment with your ideas.
Emergency Funds Sources:
(some apply to myself and others like #7 are just random ideas I'm tossing out.)
1. extra income or second job
2. birthday and holiday checks
3. tax returns
4. sell unused portions of gift cards
5. sell excellent, but unwanted clothing items in consignment stores.
6. hold garage sales.
7. cut cable bills (skip tv or watch shows on the Internet for free).
8. Sell your extra car like Sally from Georgia. Redirect car payments into savings.
Similar tips are available in The new book: Help! I Can't Pay My Bills by Sally Herigstad, a contributing writer on MSN Money.
I also like these money saving ideas from the Stubborn Capitalist.
Binary Dollar also has a helpful list of 5 Random Money Saving Ideas.
The Frugal Duchess Boutique