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November 10, 2008


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I finished paying off my debt right before everything went south, but we're definitely saving more now. Money that used to go towards loan payments is now being put into savings. I think we would have done this regardless of the state of the economy, though.

I'm trying my darndest to pay more of my debt off, and I'm still keeping an eye toward my (uncomfortably small) savings.

One interesting thing I've noticed about the economic changes is that now that many folks are struggling, I don't feel as much pressure to do things or make purchases I wasn't completely committed to because I don't worry about being judged as much.

I'm talking about situations such as inviting a friend over for dinner rather than meeting up to go out, or not feeling guilty about buying a smaller birthday gift for a friend. These are all frugal habits I should have / should be developing anyway, but I find that they're easier choices to make when I have an economic trend to ride where I don't feel like I'm in the minority for making such choices.


I'm saving more, but not necessarily because of the economy. My philosophy behind saving is simple. Around 10% of my income goes into an account that I don't touch ever. I save another 5% of my income to invest. And I adjust these numbers accordingly to my current situation. I'm sure you're allot more experienced than me, but this is what is working for me right now. How long did it take you to save 6 months of expenses?


Focusing on paying off the mortgage right now.

My husband and I had decided this year that we would payoff as much of our debt as we could so if something happened we would be ok. Well, accordig to Dave Ramsey, we had the $1000 in savings, but we had less than 3 months emergency fund, and we both work full time. Last week, my husband was let go from his job and is now looking for another job. We are ok through the end of the month and unless he finds something soon, we'll have to dip into our emergency fund, which is what it's for, but we don't want to if we can help it. We hoped this wouldn't happen, but it didn't. Good thing we had already cut our costs as bare boned as we could and were already paying down our debt, otherwise, we would be in a real pickle right now.

I carry zero debt and have not for many years. I am very proud of this. I also have a good emergency fund. Right now I AM saving more because I am 'between houses' and want a bigger down payment for the moment when I think the prices have bottomed out and I can buy again.

Paying off one mortgage next month - the other is soon to follow. Already maximizing contributions to qualified retirement plans.

We paid off our last debt (besides mortgage) in January and have been saving that money since. Nothing has changed for us since the stock market tanked, except for the fact that I am re-evaluating whether I should be in index funds or focus on dividend paying stocks instead.

The problem with saving now is that people show have been saving more when times were better. For the last year I tried not to do anything spectacular because the writing was on the wall that times would get worse. Now while all of my friends are strugling I will be headed to Jamaica after exams in December.

I did decide to increase my cash holdings. The reality was that I was aggressively investing money (some 25% of my gross income so far this year) and I saw no reason to keep that up the next three months. (The economy is not going to magically recover in that time and I'm going to miss the window on stock prices.) So I've instead shifted my focus back to building up an emergency fund that could cover a year and a half of costs. I know that sounds like a lot to people, but it really isn't. Besides, in this topsy-turvy time, my "safer" investments are doing far better than anything else. I just did a check on my i-bonds and they are averaging about 6% right now.

We have no debt except for 8 months of student loans remaining and our mortgage (89,000). Our savings has been pretty consistent through this recent market downturn. The only change maybe has been a little more investing in equities with some recent buying opportunities (I hope) :)

Yes, we are saving more now. No debt except for the mortgage (120k) and we already have a 3 month emergency fund. We are focused on building that to 6 months before we shift to college funding for my daughter. Overall, the downturn didn't have too much impact except to focus my thinking on the course we are taking. So we are shifting our budget to increase the money going into savings.

We have no other debt other than mortgage debt. We took a major hit on all stock and bond holdings, but are not cashing those in. They should all eventually rebound. We are, however, putting more into cash into our money market account and CD's. The economic situation has made us look very hard at every single category and, as such, we are putting away an extra $2300+ per month. Once the economy starts to pick back up, we will focus all extra savings towards mortgage elimination.

We only have mortgage debt. We aren't really changing our spending habits. We are already pretty frugal and save on a regular basis.

We did have some debt in the summer of '07, due to financing our final child's college education and paying for our daughter's wedding at the same time. We paid it off completely before TSHTF, thankfully. Now we owe $90,000 on our mortgage, and that's all. Plus we've significantly beefed up our emergency funds, and will continue to funnel most everything that direction until we have at least one year's $$$ in reserve. Two years would make me happier, as we are both self-employed.

I went back to work after deciding my investments weren't making any money- basically I 'lost' about $60k in the last 3 months- so now I'm working and building my net worth by saving. This is pretty steady and I should be able to recover the lost $60K within 5 months... can save $12K per month or so.


I have a financial roadmap already plotted out that I think is fairly aggressive enough. It involves maxing Roth and 401k each year, as well as beefing up emergency savings, a separate car fund, as well as an eventual house fund. Thankfully, I'm already debt-free as well.

I follow that roadmap regardless of the economic situation.

I think for us savers, the question isn't, "Are you doing more?" I think it's more like, "What more do you want?"

One item the new Obama administration should take a look at is increasing the annual limit on Roth IRAs/401ks to over 10-15K. Since we don't know what taxes are going to be like in 20-30 years, maxing out 401ks and traditional IRAs is becoming a more risky strategy. There are also a lot of workers who don't have access to 401ks, but can easily open Roth IRAs and contribute a substantial amount every year. It may be a good idea to actually lower the amount for 401k contributions to 10K, and raise the amount for Roth to 10K so people can hedge their bets with regards to future taxes.

unfortunately, I think that article is based off of skewed results. We have something big coming up called the holiday's. I would say the short term savings results are holiday shopping savers. The folks contributing more into 401Ks are doing so because, well we are nearing the end of the year, and because folks with disposable cash are seeing bargains in the markets. i think it is premature to think that americans are wholesale savers.

we have been saving the same rate, although we have changed allocations from less cash to more equities, scooping up what we think are bargain stocks and funds.

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