It is not a new idea, but one that I just revisited on the eliptical machine early this a.m. Foregoing a $5 coffee drink (well, more than one of them) can acutally end up being worth $1million. A few years ago, talk shows, magazines, newpapers and others were a buzz with the reality of saving a little consistently ending up being a lot of money. For just $5 a day investment, if you start when you are young (like age 25) and you invest in something that will give you an average of 10% interest a year (the stock market's 50-year average), you can have $1million when you are 65 years old.
This is not any "get rich quick" scheme that may or may not work. It is proven and prudent. Spend less money than you make and eventually, you will have a nice little nest egg.
Rigth now, there are people who are buying great opportunities in the real estate market. If it is a "buyer's market" that means that buyers are the fortunate ones. And the fortunate ones are probably in the position to buy right now because they have been prudent to spend less money than they make.
A $5 latte, or a pack of cigarettes, or a lottery ticket a day can add up pretty quickly to about $2000 a year. Even without interest, tucked away under the mattress, that will amount to a pretty good chunk of change with consistency over 20 years or so. Investing wisely will multiply that, not just add to it.
So----I am considering what I can give up consistently that I don't at all need that will result in an additional $2000 savings in 2009. $5 a day.....$35 a week... (plus a little to make it an even $2000)... that's all it takes. And someday, I will be really, really glad when I am ready to do those last years sorts of dreams that will cost money.