It can be hard to save more when you have a lot going on. Sure, it sounds like a great idea to build up enough funds to sustain you when the unexpected happens, but for some of us, our financial obligations leave us with little to save, let alone invest. This can be frustrating if you’re simultaneously paying off student loans, credit card debt, mortgages, rent, and/or other necessary expenses.
Retirement tends to sneak up on people rather quickly and those of us that didn’t save over the years will find that the idea of living off our savings is, well, unrealistic.
Many of us will also put off saving for retirement because we believe we’ll be able to “catch up” when our financial situation looks a little brighter. Sadly, this way of thinking only delays the inevitable. Retirement tends to sneak up on people rather quickly and those of us that didn’t save over the years will find that the idea of living off our savings is, well, unrealistic.
Numerous survey findings suggest that Americans are saving less and not investing as much as they should towards their retirement. While countless factors contribute to these less than desirable scenarios, it is important to find a way to save amongst the chaos. But don’t feel discouraged. Yes, finding ways to save more will require some sacrifices, but you can do it. So how do you save more, when it seems almost impossible?
1. Organize your finances and cut back.
You simply can’t start saving for your future unless you know where your money is going. It’s that simple. Before you even start to determine where you can cut back to save more, you’ll need to thoroughly examine your finances. Start by analyzing your spending habits. If the task seems intimidating, look for a budgeting software or an app that easily organizes this information for you, so you can quickly see your spending patterns. Next, determine which expenses are absolute necessities (i.e. rent/mortgage, insurance, food budget, car payment, etc.) and which are more of a luxury.
Often times, it can be hard to realize how much your spending on something you don’t truly need until you actually look at the cold, hard numbers. Once you break down your expenses into categories, you can begin to see what areas of spending can be reduced, so you can allocate more towards your savings. The hard part is making decisions to cut your spending after realizing you spend too much on dining, clothes, or that luxury SUV.
2. Take advantage of savings.
Now that you’ve organized your finances and determined where you can cut back, you should start taking advantage of savings — because there’s no shame in saving money. It just means more money for you to either spend, or save as you’d like. There are so many resources nowadays that allow you to shop around for the best prices on almost anything you’re looking for. It’s foolish not to do so. Do an online search for big ticket items to get an instant glance at how the price varies across different retailers. Shop at places that give you cash back, or rewards for your loyalty. And never feel ashamed to ask for a price match. Usually, retail stores will honor the prices of their competitors.
Remember, that even the small things add up. So do yourself a favor and save more by price checking. Once you get in the habit of saving on everyday items, you’ll wonder why you never did so sooner.
3. Sell unwanted items.
So many of us have wonderful things lying around our homes that we no longer use, need, or have replaced with something else. Whether it’s furniture or electronics, many of us can most probably make some extra cash by selling our unwanted items. Host a yard sale one weekend, or even list your items in an online marketplace. You’d be surprised to find that there’s a buyer for just about anything. Before selling any items, do your research and see what other people are selling similar items for, so you can make a fair profit. Then, create your competitively priced listings and wait for your buyers to make their purchases. Be careful of scammers. Never ship your items without receiving full payment first. If you’re meeting a buyer in person, always proceed with caution and meet in a public location. Like others, you too can save more by making small changes that help you set aside money for your future.
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