The experts make it sound so simple. Pinch pennies. Spend less than you make. Use coupons. Cash-only envelope system. The list of solutions to living the big life is long. There are hundreds of books that profess the best way to get ahead in this dog-eat-dog world.

I cannot profess to have found the solution, but I can say that whatever path you take, it is not as simple as these experts make it sound. Every book, article or class in my life has sounder much easier than the action required. I have come to the full conclusion that the best way to get ahead is to pay attention and to act. No one method will succeed in your life forever and we must be willing and able to adapt as our lives and the marketplace evolve.

Every six months are so, I feel as if we are pursuing another change in our life that is a headache in the short-term but will save us in the long-term. For example…

Less than six months ago, the kids and I were insured in a no-frills health insurance program. I was satisfied with the low-cost (if you call $300 a month inexpensive) of the health insurance. We were healthy and choose not to pay for some of the riders such as maternity and doctor’s visits. We would pay out-of-pocket if we needed. I was blissfully ignorant of the unrealistic maximums that the program enforced.

I could have chosen to continue to convince myself that I was “insured” but chose to act on a suggestion from a book. I took the policy to a professional insurance broker who took the time to review the policy, He warned me of the poor coverage we would receive in the event of a major medical tragedy. Not only have I now switch to a Health Savings Account insurance that provides more comprehensive coverage, I am also saving $30 a month.

What one action has saved you money? Or what action do you wish you had taken that would have saved you money?

“We can try to avoid making choices by doing nothing, but even that is a decision.”  -Gary Collins