Winning the lottery for millions of dollars would be a wonderful and easy way to become financially free, removing the need for budgeting or any sort of economic restraint. Unfortunately, most of us will never have winning lottery numbers, so in order to build a nest egg, we have to do it the old-fashioned way; we have to save our coins.

Budgets are amazing tools… when we’re able to adhere to them. It is simple to sit down and create a budget based on monthly or yearly bills, but it is difficult to plan for everything which may happen in a twelve-month period. Best friend’s wedding in Jamaica? Junior’s traveling baseball fees? Family fishing trip? Things and events occur which we definitely haven’t planned for, but if we discover other means besides a strict budget to save pennies, then it’s very possible to build up savings accounts.

One of the ways to curtail spending habits is to find a way to have the things and items desired, without emptying our wallets and purses. Eating out at fast-food restaurants is one way we pour money down the drain. It’s possible to have all of those foods at home, with the only sacrifice being a bit more time spent in the kitchen. There are certain foods which can be multi-dimensional in their uses, providing more than only one meal. Grilled chicken can be used for tacos, chicken-noodle soup, Philly chicken sandwiches, chicken salads, and chicken parmesan. Ground beef can be used for spaghetti, hamburgers, enchiladas, and chili.

Cooking food instead of eating out, might be challenging at first, but if the entire family gets involved, it can be fun and exciting for everyone. Also, think of the money which can be saved by investing time in preparing healthy, fun foods. The average family spends about $3000 on fast-food and restaurants in the course of a year, and reducing that figure would definitely boost the bank account. Take lunches to work, and not only will money be saved, the family will be eating healthier.

There have been technological advances, such as streaming media, which will reduce or eliminate cable bills. If a family takes a good, hard look at their expenses and their budgets, they can find many more ways to save money on a daily basis. If the goals are to create a nest-egg, or to save for a down-payment on a new house (in one of our three planned communities, Halo, Harmony, and Horizon), then where there is a will, there is a way.

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