We budget. I'm retired from the military and still work part-time. SunFlower has also retired, and has since gone back to work. I have two additional part-time jobs. A few things we do (religiously): We are fairly frugal. We don't go out a lot, watch year-old movies on cable TV. Don't drink. Keep our health up to reduce medical bills (and, yes, we have been blessed in that regard). If we can purchase with plastic, we use a frequent-flyer card. We keep those purchases to what we can pay off at the end of the month, to avoid intrest. Also, have a hotel card that transfers points to our air account. When we can't use plastic, we use cash, but never give exact change. Bills only. Every evening, all loose change and all ones in our pockets is dumped in the cruise fund (a 5-gallon water jug). On Fridays, any fives also go in the fund. If either of us gets a bonus, or overtime 100% of that goes in the fund. Refunds for anything go in the fund. If a check shows up (birthday, etc.) ... Yep, the fund. Michigan is a bottle deposit state, and those $0.10's add up. We I do a lot of research to find deals (purchase early, go cheap, sail with groups, etc.).