It's never easy. But it's not as difficult as you may think, and these days cheaping out is cool. Start by looking at your cars, travel, cable service and cell phone. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars a month right there. Skip two or three meals out each month and you'll find another hundred dollars or so. Don't always buy new; get familiar with Craigslist.com. Get your old stuff repaired. Invest in energy efficient household items there are rich tax credits available ( www.energystar.gov ). Cutting interest expense should also be a priority. Refinance the mortgage while rates are low. Use new savings to pay down your highest rate credit cards first, and then move to lower-rate cards. Once you've paid off a debt apply the full savings to other debts and long-term savings. Finally, don't just save a bit here and there; make it all part of an aggressive savings strategy that incorporates a monthly or weekly goal.