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Saving money is tough. No matter how much you make or how many raises you get, there never seems to be enough to cover all the things we want and need. Having a safety net of savings is critical, though. Too many families in the U.S. are only a paycheck or two away from financial collapse.

Ideally, everyone should have at least enough in savings to cover six months of unemployment. Beyond that, everyone ought to have some sort of retirement savings plan as well. Getting that first account built up takes some discipline and some planning but you’ll be surprised where you can find money if you really look.

1. Take a look at your miscellaneous spending. Most people spend five dollars or more every weekday on things like coffee, muffins, candy bars, cigarettes, gum and soda. If you saved that five dollars 20 days per month, that’s $100 for your savings account.
2. Quit spending coins. Instead of spending them, drop them into a jar every day at the end of the day. By the end of the month, you’ll be surprised how much pocket change you’ve accumulated. The first month I tried this, I was able to put $55 in coins into my savings account.
3. Use a free Internet service provider. By doing so, you will save an average of $20 per month. Put it in your savings account.
4. Shop around for new car insurance. Most of us are overpaying for car insurance. After some shopping, I was able to cut my car insurance bill by $20 per month without losing any coverage. Put that money in savings.
5. Pack your lunch for work. The average person spends $4-$6 per workday for lunch. If you pack your lunch, the food will cost you no more than $2. Bank the savings of at least $2 per workday, or $40 each month.
6. Instead of ordering pizzas twice a month, get deli pizzas at the grocery store and bake them at home. Two delivered pizzas will run you a minimum of $15 while two deli pizzas will only cost you about $8. The savings per month equals $14 for your savings account.
7. Rent videos instead of going out to the movies. The cost of two movie tickets will run you $12 minimum. Add overpriced snacks to that and you’ve spent $20 easily. Do that twice a month and you’re spending $40. Rent two videos at $3 each for a total of $6. Add a bag of microwave popcorn and a two-liter bottle of soda for a total cost for the evening of $10. Twice a month, video night will cost you $20, for a total monthly savings of $20.
8. Use coupons at the grocery store. On your way home from the grocery store, stop at the drive thru bank and deposit an amount equal to your coupon savings into your checking account. The teller may look at you funny when you drop $5.35 in your savings account, but that’s all right. I average about $20 per month doing this.
9. Recycle your recyclables. Once a month, take all your recycling to the plant and drop the money into your savings account. My average each month is $7.
10. Cut premium channels from your cable service. Renting videos is less expensive and you’ll see new movies sooner on video than on premium channels. You’ll save at least $10 per month.

The total monthly savings from these examples is $286. Over the course of a year, that savings adds up to $3,432. Now that’s a nice bit of savings, don’t you think?