You already know that you should be saving as much as possible for retirement. Perhaps you contribute to a qualified retirement plan through automatic payroll deductions, and you feel that your savings plan is adequate. But because you can never be too prepared for the future, why not set a New Year's resolution to save just a bit more this year?
You might think it sounds like a lofty goal, but you could save an extra thousand dollars this year. And if you repeat this resolution in future years, just imagine the dramatic impact it could have upon your retirement fund!
Sound difficult? Keep in mind that 1,000 dollars per year is actually just 84 dollars per month. You could easily stash that much money, by following one or more of these steps.
Trim something off of your monthly budget. Many people are subscribing to services or publications that they don't really use. Perhaps you don't really need both internet and cable, or both a house phone and a cell phone. If you do need all of those services, bundling them might still net you a significant savings. Check out prepaid cell phone plans, which cost about half the amount of major networks and offer the same level of coverage. Compare home, life, and auto insurance rates to see if you can score a better deal by switching plans. Slash your entertainment budget by switching to lower-cost or free alternatives. If you're willing to get creative, you can earn most of that 84 dollars by making a few easy changes.
Stop purchasing things on impulse. Online shopping is often the big culprit here. We all store our credit card information in our favorite shopping websites or apps, and then we don't even think before clicking the “checkout” button. Delete shopping apps from your phone, and remove credit card info from your shopping accounts online. No one is saying you shouldn't enjoy online shopping, but taking these steps will slow you down and make you think before making impulse purchases.
Review your eating habits. Most of us eat in restaurants far more often than we admit to ourselves. Check your debit or credit card statements from the past two months, and you might realize this is true for you. Awareness of your habits is the first step. Now, learn to cook and freeze meals ahead of time, or stock up on easy options for busy weeknights.
Look for job perks. Many companies offer various perks and discounts to their employees, but these deals aren't always advertised. You might be able to dump your expensive cell phone plan in favor of a company phone, or your employer might offer free gym memberships and other perks.
A thousand dollars sounds like a lot of money, but when you view it as a challenge to save 84 dollars per month, it suddenly sounds like a reasonable goal! Stash that money in your retirement account, or if you're already contributing the maximum you might consider opening an IRA. Call our office for more information on saving for retirement, and we can help you decide upon the right investment vehicle for you. Over the course of a decade or more, you would be surprised how that money could add up to a much more comfortable lifestyle in retirement!
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