Although it may not be decades until you’re ready to walk away from work and head into retirement, there actually can become a point when it becomes too late and you’re in dire jeopardy of not having enough funds to not only live off, but to enjoy the life experiences that you had planned on achieving once work was out of the way. Before you continue to push the focus on retirement out further and further, now is the time to make a few adjustments to your finances to free up extra money in order to maximize contributions.
Create a Budget
If you were asked how much you’re currently spending on food, would you be able to say? Now a lot goes into that total, such as grabbing coffee in the morning, eating out for lunch, or going grocery shopping to stock the fridge and pantry, but if you review your last debit and credit card statements you can put an exact total on the current food budget. From, you can come up with a number that should be allocated in not only food, but in monthly bills, gas, and spending money. The trick will then be to reduce spending and stay within the budget to watch the savings add up.
Review Your Credit Report
While you may not think about reviewing your credit report as part of saving money, but when it comes to your mortgage, auto loan, or even credit cards, your credit score determines the approved interest rate, and the best credit score on the market will receive the best rate, saving you the most money over time. By reviewing your full credit report at least once a year you can ensure all of your information is correct, but monthly you can see your score on credit card statements to make sure that it continues to rise each month, provided you continue to pay bills on time and not charge more than you can pay off each month.
Reduce Unnecessary Expenses
When it comes to really freeing up extra money, take a look at all the expenses that are heading out of your bank account each month. Some ground could be made up by avoiding going out to eat every meal and reduce down to once a week. There you’ll see hundreds of dollars of savings a month. In addition, some may be more difficult choices such as cutting the cable cord and opting for streaming solutions to save a hundred dollars per month.
Don’t Lose Out on Free Money
With all of the effort being put towards saving money, you want to make sure you’re not missing out on free money. At work, your employer may be offering company-matching retirement contributions so you’ll want to make sure you’re at least contributing the max of what they’re offering, otherwise that could be costly not only now but the tens of thousands you could have missed out on by the time you were to retire. Also, if you’re able to get a rewards credit card, you can earn points or cashback just on the purchases you were going to make anyways.