Everyone knows it is important to save for retirement, but it can be hard to dedicate the funds to do so. If each paycheck is already spent when it hits your account, you know you need to do something different. How do you change?
Streamline Monthly Expenses
Look for areas where you are spending more than you need to. This can be everything from groceries to streaming services. Cutting back on these expenses to free up money for savings may make you feel a little deprived initially, but watching the money add up will strengthen your resolve. For those who are paying off student loans, look at consolidating your existing loans with a private lender. You can change the terms of your loan, lowering your monthly expenses. It is easy to check online to preview your potential savings. When you lower your monthly expenses, make sure you funnel that amount into retirement savings. It is important to be intentional when creating the savings habit. If not, you will find the money you save in one area is spent somewhere else.
Avoid Carrying a Balance on Credit Cards
You know that credit card debt is expensive, but when you consider how much money you pay in finance charges when carrying a balance, you realize how crippling it truly is. If you have existing debt, pull out your last statement and look at how much you paying in finance charges. Now, imagine being able to deposit that much each month in an IRA.
Take Advantage of Employer Contributions
Gone are the days when nearly everyone could count on a pension. Instead, you are responsible for saving for retirement. Of course, many companies pitch in, matching your donations into your retirement account up to a certain percentage. If you do nothing else for your retirement, set aside the percentage that your employer will match. Not getting the maximum match is leaving money on the table. If your employer doesn’t offer matching funds, you still need to look at ways to save for retirement. Many banks make it easy to quickly set up an individual retirement account online to set aside some money each payday. Even a small amount adds up over time, and as your financial situation improves, you can increase your contribution.
Find a Side Job
If you are struggling to come up with the money to set aside for retirement, look at taking a part-time job to boost your contributions. Think of it as a temporary measure while you pay off debt or otherwise get yourself into a better financial situation. Of course, many people find that they enjoy working a few shifts a month at a grocery store, coffee shop, or some other job. If you find something you like, you may want to stick with it into retirement. No one wants to work full-time once they retire, but keeping part-time hours has a few benefits. It gives your schedule some discipline, which many people struggle with after retirement. Having somewhere you have to be, even a few days a week can make the transition easier. Drawing a paycheck, even a part-time one, will help stretch your retirement funds.
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