Just as it's wise to keep a money diary in order to become aware of where your money is going, being crystal clear on why your family is saving can provide much-needed motivation and direction. "A lot of times people see tips on saving money and none of it is all that mysterious," Carlson says. "The biggest challenge is finding motivation to maintain these habits."
To do that, she says both goals and rewards are vital, and can be everything from big ones -- like a vacation -- or small rewards, like buying a book when you reach a savings goal. "Without goals and rewards, why are we going to save money?" she says. "If kids know why and it sounds good and they get something for their efforts then they're much more likely to get on board. It's also a good start toward creating lasting habits."
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- Carlson, Karen. Director of Education at InCharge Debt Solutions. Personal correspondence. Oct. 27, 2011.
- Flinn, Allison. Professional organizer. Personal correspondence. Oct. 24, 2011.
- James, Kyle. Operates family finance Web site www.rather-be-shopping.com. Personal correspondence. Oct. 24, 2011.
- Pipkin, Brandon. Author and father of five children. Personal correspondence. Oct. 24, 2011.
- Schrage, Andrew. Editor of Web site www.moneycrashers.com. Personal correspondence. Oct. 28, 2011.
Paying for housing takes up a huge portion of your paycheck. HowStuffWorks Now looks at the place taking the biggest bite.