Don’t you hate it when your parents (or grandparents) were right?  Lessons learned, years later, if only you had accepted the advice earlier in life?

OK, maybe it’s not THAT bad, but here’s a situation that has been bothering me for the past couple years:  how to “save” our money.

Remember when 6-mo or 1-year CD’s were yielding 4.0% APY?  Jim and I took advantage of that and enjoyed the extra few bucks in our pocket when the terms ended.  But now CD rates are below 1.0% APY.  Why would I want to tie my money up like that if my savings account has a .90% APY?  (Yes, I DO have a savings account with that interest rate- it used to be 3.0% way back in the day.  You can email me and ask me what bank it is, I don’t want to publish that info to the general public.)

I did find 2.5% APY on 5-year CD’s…but I need more flexibility with my money right now.  

So let’s see….can’t really get anything back from savings or CD’s, we already max out our IRA and 401K, I’m not comfortable with the stock market to invest our money there, so what does that leave us?

Have you ever looked at how much money is ‘thrown away’ in interest each month on your mortgage?  It hurts!  So that’s where we are trying to “save”.  I’m sure this sounds like an obscene idea for many people, but it’s the only thing that makes sense (for us) at the moment.  We dump as much as we can towards our mortgage.  Luckily for us, we’ve been in this house for 16-years, so we don’t have a super high mortgage balance.  We’ve been smart in how (and when) we refinanced, and as of today we only owe about a third of the market value of our home.  It’s taken a lot of work to get into this position.  A lot.  Rice and beans last year.  But it feels good to know that we saved nearly $10,000* in interest (*over the life of the loan)!!  I don’t know what else we could have done to get us that much gain.

So the best advice I ever got…

– Make your money work for you.  Don’t work for your money.

– Don’t buy what you can’t pay for.  If you can’t pay for it with cash up front, you shouldn’t be buying it! 

– Don’t finance anything (except your house of course).

– Never lease a car unless you enjoy throwing hundreds of dollars out the window every month.  At the end of your lease, what do you “OWN”?  Nothing.

– Ask yourself- do you really NEED it?  Or is it just a WANT? 

– Spend a year living on rice-and-beans (Dave Ramsey style).  

Your wallet will thank you.

(If you’ve never listened to Dave Ramsey- start now!  Check out his podcasts.  You WILL be inspired to live like no other so you can live like no other!)

And if you have ideas on how to grow your money in this economy, I’d love to hear them!