One thing we hear a lot from people trying to save for retirement is that they just don’t have the money for it. Others are frustrated because, while they do have the funds, this means living on an extremely tight budget day-to-day.
Although times are still tough for a lot of people, we’re positive you’re spending money on at least one of the following that could be used to save for retirement instead.
1. Brand-Name Anything
With very few exceptions, you don’t need to buy brand name products. This goes across the board. We’re talking about everything from food to clothing. Sure, it’s okay to treat yourself every now and then. There are also some brands that charge more because their products are legitimately better and will save you money in the long run.
However, for the most part, you’ll save hundreds of dollars a year – maybe even thousands – with this one tip alone. That’s a lot of extra money for retirement.
2. An Extra Vehicle
If you’re married, do you and your spouse each really need cars? Would it be possible to share? Give it a try for a month and see what happens. Expect that the first week will be a challenge, but you might find that by week four, it’s an easy routine to continue.
In that case, you can sell a car and immediately put the profit toward retirement. You’ll also be saving money by not paying for the extra gas and insurance.
3. Credit Cards
It should come as no surprise to find this one on a list about saving money. While credit cards have plenty to offer, they can also be a huge hurdle standing between you and retirement.
No matter how responsible you are with credit cards, get rid of any that come with an 11% or higher interest rate. That’s a ticking time bomb. It’s just way too easy to make one mistake and end up falling behind in debt.
Just like with an extra car, try going without any credit cards for a month and see what happens. It’s fine to keep one for an emergency, but regularly using them can make saving money impossible.
4. Cable TV
More and more people are cutting the cord and it’s not hard to see why. Cable TV usually costs at least $80/month. Yet, most people who are paying that exorbitant price only really care about four or five shows.
Sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu give you plenty of entertainment for around $10/month. You might even find that once you get out of the habit of watching TV, even those sites lose their appeal.
Saving money and planning for retirement go hand-in-hand. While everyone’s financial situation is different, most of you can probably pick one thing from the above list to quit paying for and then use that money to put toward retirement. Perhaps there are other things in your life you simply don’t need, too.
If you’d like help identifying these regular purchases or anything else to do with financial planning, feel free to contact Mooney Lyons.