Saving money should be a top priority if you want to be secure and stable in your retirement years. These money-saving tips can help you develop healthy spending and saving habits:
- If your employer offers a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 retirement savings plan, sign up and allocate a percentage of your pre-tax paycheck to be directly deposited into your retirement account. Your employer may also match your contributions to this account.
- Consider having a percentage of your paycheck automatically transferred from your checking account to a savings account or Individual Retirement Account (IRA). If you increase the percentage you save each time you get a raise, your savings and income will grow together over the years and outpace inflation.
- After you make the last payment on your car loan or student loan, continue to "bill yourself" for the same amount and deposit it into your savings account.
- Calculate a reasonable weekly spending allowance for yourself. A set budget can help you prioritize necessities.
- If your employer offers flexible spending accounts (FSAs), you can contribute pre-tax earnings to save on medical and dependent-care expenses, but calculate your expenses carefully—funds left in the account at the end of the year are forfeited.
- Pay for everything with bills and save all your change in a piggy bank. Coins can really add up!
- If you receive a windfall such as an inheritance or company bonus, divide it into three portions: one to put toward your long-term savings goals, one to put toward your short-term savings goals, and one to spend as a reward for yourself.
- Make a list of fun and inexpensive things to do instead of shopping for entertainment. If you avoid unnecessary purchases, you'll be that much closer to achieving your financial goals.
Saving for retirement doesn't have to be difficult. With a little attention and dedication, you can make your financial goals a reality.