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Beginner’s Guide: Saving money for Retirement

‘Tis the season…to spend spend spend spend. So, don’t forget to start a saving money plan. 

The holidays are wonderful tie to celebrate with family and friends but they can, unfortunately, drain your wallet. We hate to sound like a broken record but every financial decision you make now can impact your future, and we know saving money isn’t an easy task.

Lucky for you, you have us! Below you’ll find the foundations to develop a solid savings game plans so that the holidays don’t leave you with an empty bank account. The best part is that every penny counts and combining savings tips with a retirement plan will put you on the right track toward a financially stable future.

Take the time for saving for retirement

One of the things that most people find it difficult to saving for retirement is their schedules. The inclination for those on the go is to pay more money for things that save them time.

Pre-made foods, eating out and taking taxis add up over time and can drain your wallet. Which is why for those of us constantly on-the-go it is incredibly important to be mindful of budgets.  

Your first step to setting aside some funds is to set aside time.

Take, for example, your lunch. Eating out can stack up to a staggering amount of $5 or more/day. If you don’t include weekends, that adds up to $25/week and roughly $1,300 annually. Mind you, that’s a low-end budget, depending on where you choose to eat.

Taking an extra 10-15 minutes per night to pack your lunch could have big impacts on your savings. For every day you pack your lunch, put $5 toward your retirement account.

Additionally, think of the long-term impacts packing a nutritious lunch will have. You will be consuming less calories (eating out may mean eating more calories and could expand your waistline) and are more apt to make healthier choices. Down the road, this could save on your health insurance, life insurance and add to your overall wellbeing.

If you frequently hit up the corner coffee shop  before work, you may also want to consider taking an extra few minutes every morning to brew your own; the average American spends an average of $1,100/year on coffee! When you consider what you could be setting aside for your future, it seems worth it to spend the extra time making your own coffee or lunch.

Another time-taking step that busy individuals forget is to shop around. For example, downloading an app can save you $10 or more each time you fuel up at a gas station.

You should also try to take advantage of rewards programs at your local grocery store or where you frequently shop, as the coupons and deals offered via these programs could save you hundreds each year!

Join forces

One of the most commonly overlooked practices for saving money for retirement is the carpool.

Did you know you can download apps to help you find people to carpool with? The best part about this is it reduces your gas costs and maintenance costs on your vehicle.

If you can’t carpool but don’t live too far from the office, consider biking or walking to work whenever you can. It’s a great way to not only save money, but to improve your health!

Rethink date night

And not just “date night”, either. By rethinking the idea of how you spend your time, you could be saving yourself quite a bit of money.

For example, dinner and a movie. The average American spends roughly $225/month dining out, according to The Simple Dollar. This estimate is conservative when you add in other costs, such as alcoholic beverage consumption, movie tickets or tickets to see a concert. You may be driving or taking an Uber to the restaurant or the venue, which will further increase the cost.

All of these add up quickly, and next thing you know, your wallet could be getting a little thinner.

Instead of giving up these habits, you should try instead to cut back or figure out cheaper alternatives.

For example, purchasing groceries and eating at home or staying in to watch a movie can add up. Think about it: a month subscription of Netflix is $7.99, and a movie ticket costs an average of $8.38, which may not seem like too much more, but when you are in the beginning stages of learning how to save money, the smallest tweaks can make a difference.  Walking somewhere rather than taking an Uber or a cab can save you a sizable chunk of change.

Use technology

Chances are, you’ve got an expensive “smartphone” in your pocket or purse right now. So why not use it?

There are several saving money apps that exist and can help make saving for the future the easy choice. Additionally, you can use your smartphone to schedule an appointment with a financial adviser who can get you started with a solid financial plan.

Bottom line

We are lucky to live in an age where savings tools can literally be held in the palms of our hands. But despite all of this readily available information, it might still be difficult to figure out how to begin saving.

Call a financial adviser today or take a look around the blog for more tips and tricks on how to live frugally and prepare for a strong financial future.