When I got a place of my own and starting supporting myself after I got out of school, I didn't really have enough money to save. But, a few years later, when I did, I would always "pay myself first." Back then, companies didn't have 401Ks or any kind of plan where you could take money out of your check and directly save it. So I did it myself, saving 10%, putting it into a savings account that I wasn't allowed to touch, unless there was a dire emergency. Over the years, when I worked for a place with a 401K, I always put the maximum I could afford into that, and also into the credit union (those things came directly out of my pay check). I sort of took out more than I probably should have, so I lived on very little. I sort of made a false sense of poverty, which made me more creative with the money I was allowed to keep from my paycheck. At the end, I was saving about 48% of my salary in those two different vehicles.