When it comes to saving for your future, the earlier you start the better, and the longer you wait the more you sacrifice having to rely on anything but Social Security wages that may or may not be there by the time we retire. Plain and simple, saving needs to start becoming a priority, so where do you start? Well you need to adjust current spending habits and start to look to the future instead of living in the now.
Use Cash Instead of Credit Cards
There are plenty of pros to using credit cards, but if you can’t handle a strict spending limit then using a credit card may not be for you. Instead try making purchases only with a debit card. It will subtract from only the money you have available. To take it a step further, once you get passed your monthly bills, take out a set amount of cash to use until the next paycheck, and use only that cash.
Making Paying Yourself a Priority
Sure, you make sure your bills are paid on time, which is obviously important, but what is your next priority? Going to a concert? Hitting the bars with friends? If your savings/retirement accounts do not become priority you will continue to avoid paying yourself so to speak, to save for the future. So, decide what is needed to make you happy, but if you can save thousands of wasteful spending and put towards retirement, then that must be the new priority.
Skip the Unnecessary
Once the necessary bills are paid, funds are allotted for grocery shopping and gas, that leaves you with the remainder that probably goes toward spending. Try getting rid of those extra meals that you are eating out and give automated contributions to a savings account a try to build up that emergency fund. Once you have built up six months of a monthly expense reserve, you should be completely focused on retirement. Continuing to remove unnecessary expenses will be the only way to reduce spending and increase saving.
Try to Live Off One Income
If you can be disciplined enough to get rid of most unnecessary spending and just splurge once in a while for special occasions you should be able to free up a big chunk of money. If you have a partner with another income to bring in the household, try living off one, and putting the other completely to savings. Sure, it may seem impossible, but if you cut down expenses so much, it actually could happen. If you are single, try getting a side job and putting that income solely towards savings.
Stick with Your Goal of Being Financially Free
Whether it is trying to lose weight or sticking to a strict budget, it will take work, discipline, and most likely patience to see results. You can do it though, and stick to your goal to be financially free on your own terms, being able to retire young with enough money saved up to enjoy your golden years to the fullest.