Re: the first $200K is the hardest to save???
To the original poster, another way to consider it is to project yourself forward to, say, when you are 41 like me. Sounds a very far way off if you're 24 right? Well once you *do* hit 41, believe me, looking back, 24 will seem like just yesterday.
I started in engineering with a decent salary, and contributed 10% to the 401(k) from day one. Married another engineer along the way, which didn't hurt. I've gone from:
college graduation $12,500 debt $0 Assets
Now cash savings around $600k
My point (is there one?) being, get in the habit of squirreling away cash, and before you know it you'll be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It's like you're finally coming up to the crest of this big hill that you've been riding up for so long, and man is it exciting to think about reaching the top and going into coasting mode, having your investments sustain you.
Ok so it's late, I'm rambling. Plug away at that savings, you won't regret it.