Turbo Charge Your Savings Now

Solutions for the Individual who's Running Short on Time

What if you’ve gone through all the “low hanging fruit” cost-saving ideas and still find yourself well below the annual savings needed to achieve your retirement nest egg?  If this is the case, here are some aggressive steps you can take to turn things around in the last 10 to 15 years before retirement.  Although some of them might not be feasible if, for example, you’re underwater on your home, tough times call for tough measures, so look at all possibilities and leave nothing on the table.


  • Sell your home and use the proceeds to pay cash for a smaller one.
  • If this isn’t possible because you have no equity, at least sell your home and get into a smaller one, which will reduce your mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, etc.
  • Look into refinancing at today’s rock bottom rates.
  • Rent your basement or a room in your home and use the cash to pay off debt or increase your savings.
  • Sell your home and rent a smaller one or an apartment.
  • Sell anything you have in your home that you don’t want/use anymore.
  • Make your kids pay their way if they are in their 20s and staying in your home and eating your food.  Even if you charge them $250 a month, it’s still a lot less than what they’d pay if they lived on their own.


  • Sell your car and get a more economical vehicle that you can purchase with cash.
  • If you have two cars, downsize to one which will reduce your insurance, maintenance, and registration fees.
  • Get aggressive with your insurance.  If you have older vehicles with blue book values below $2,500, carry liability coverage only.  By cutting out the cost of collision, comprehensive, and other miscellaneous coverage, you can easily cut your auto insurance expense in half.
  • Call your lender and see if you can refinance or ask for a lower payment option.  Just make sure the lender doesn’t increase your loan term.  Think this is impossible, think again.  Lenders want to keep customers paying and will do almost anything to keep your business.

Entertainment/Discretionary Related

  • Cut out all vacations that involve airfare, hotels, and car rentals and instead take day trips with your family or start camping.
  • Reduce the number of times you go out for lunch and dinner to once a month.
  • Stop buying clothes and shoes you don’t need since you probably have a closet full of stuff you can wear that still have the tags on them.
  • If you have memberships to clubs, associations, gyms, etc., get rid of them as you can always get your exercise by walking or riding a bike.
  • Instead of buying gifts for family and friends, make them something instead or have them over to your house for a nice meal and a movie.
  • Stop buying anything you can get at your local library for free (e.g., books, magazines, movies, music, etc.).
  • Get rid of your cable or satellite TV and watch your shows on the Internet and/or get an antenna so you can watch your local channels for free.
  • Dump your cell and/or home phone and get a prepaid one for emergencies only.  If your cell phone is your central entertainment center; eliminate all services you can get through your cell phone or tablet (e.g., home phone, internet, cable or satellite subscriptions, etc. ).

Other Savings Ideas

  • If you have stuff in a storage facility, sell it on eBay or Craigslist and save on the storage fees.  Remember, if it’s not in your house, you probably don’t need it.
  • Don’t replace anything that isn’t broken, which means you keep all your electronics, appliances, computers, car, etc., until they stop working.
  • Stop smoking.  It’s a very expensive habit that’s not only bad for your health, but results in higher medical and life insurance premiums.
  • Eliminate cash contributions to your favorite charities and instead give your time or donate unwanted clothing, furniture, etc. 

As I said, I know these options aren’t very appealing, but they may be the best chance you have of getting yourself out of debt and back on track.  Even if your financial situation isn’t as dire and doesn’t require draconian steps, and I hope it isn’t, don’t ignore some of these money-saving opportunities.  Everybody’s threshold for pain and self-sacrifice is different, so what might look impossible to one person could be a tolerable lifestyle modification to another.  

Ron Hawks

Ron is a personal finance author, advisor and speaker. For more information about Ron and his highly acclaimed current book Climbing The Financial Mountain:  Wealth Building Strategies for Every Stage in Life go to http://climbingthefinancialmountain.com where you’ll also find access to free financial tools and resources. 

12 thoughts on “Turbo Charge Your Savings Now

  1. T. Bildnate

    I have a storage locker I pay $25 a month to keep all my “can’t part with” stuff. I could sell it all, eliminate the storage fee and make a lot of money in the bargain. Your list of suggestions got me thinking. I’m not as helpless as I thought. I have opportunities to turn my financial situation around. Thank you for the help.

  2. M. Gair

    Hello my friend! I wish to say that this article is amazing, nicely written and full of vital info. I’d like to see more posts like this.

  3. R. Reiniger

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few folks are speaking intelligently about.

    I am very happy I found this in my hunt for something relating to this.

  4. Charlie Marsh

    I’ve been carrying way too much auto insurance on my two old cars. If I ever had a claim, the insurance company would probably give me 12 cents for each vehicle. As you said, all I need is liability and I can save a boat load of money. All my precious junk in storage. What a waste of $. It’s time for a garage sale.
    Thanks for the timely advice.

  5. K. Lestmeyer

    You’ve got some great ideas on saving. Things we never would have thought of. The one real zinger for us was eliminating an extra vehicle. Guilty as charged. We have 3 cars and only 2 drivers in our family. One vehicle is seldom driven and sits in the garage, takes up space, plus the cost of insurance is very high. Selling our 3rd car will be our first step toward increasing our savings.


  6. S. Turkles

    Entertainment and eating out is my biggest expense. I was surprised how much I spent after looking at my credit card statement in detail. My other problem is clothes. Like you said, I still have clothes that I can’t even remember buying that have the tags still on them. Time to get serious about my spending. Does your book have great stuff like this?

  7. Cesar H.

    Wow, it’s astonishing how relevant this article is. Thanks for posting such rich content. This is refreshing to see.

  8. Bob Alleyt

    I like the information about the cost of storing stuff. Like you said, if it was important it would be in my house and not in some storage unit. I guess I need to get on this issue ASAP as I have way too much stuff sitting around that I could sell or at least give away which would save me the $85 I spend each month on my unit. Thanks for the push.

  9. Jake Berlin

    Excellent web site you have got here. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  10. Cesar Dir

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this. I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

  11. Jane Albertson

    Your savings suggestions don’t seem difficult to implement. I just need to get off my duff and start.

    The first thing I’m going to do is get rid of my cell phone service and get a prepaid phone. My cell bill comes to $95 per month and I only use it for emergencies. The second thing I’m going to do is stop going to the mall to “window shop” Ha. I always find something I can’t live without but never planned to buy in the first place.

    Appreciate the wake up call.

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