Saving for retirement can be difficult. With the recent increases in the cost of gas and groceries and other basics combined with a loss of income because of the economy (or a lack of raises over the last few years), saving for retirement can seem like a goal that is out of reach. Retirement can end up on your list of things to do when you have more money. The problem is that day often never comes because there is always something else vying for your money.
If you have trouble saving for your retirement that may be 30 or 40 years away, you are not alone. CNN Money recently reported, “About 49% of Americans say they aren’t contributing to any retirement plan, according to a new survey conducted by LIMRA, a trade association for the financial services industry.”
If you are having trouble finding money to save for your retirement, try these tactics:
- Have the money automatically withdrawn from your paycheck. Dedicate a portion of your salary to fund your retirement through any personal pension schemes. If money is very tight, you may only want to put 1% aside, but if you are making $3,000 a month, one percent is $30 a month. True, you won’t be putting aside enough to fund your full retirement, but in a year, you will have $360 saved, which is more than you may have had previously. You will find that you don’t even miss the money, and your retirement savings can grow with little effort on your part.
- Save your change. Make an attempt to pay cash for your purchases and save your change. You will likely end up with at least $1 to $2 a day. Save this every day, and you now have an additional $30 to $60 to put in your retirement each month.
- Curb your lifestyle and save the difference. If you spend $100 for groceries every week, or approximately $400 a month, designate one week to eat from the pantry and eat all of the extra food you have in your freezer and cupboard. While you may still have to buy staples such as fruits and vegetables, you could save $50 a month by eating from the pantry.
- Create an alternative income stream. Find something you enjoy and find a way to make money from it. For instance, let’s say you love taking photographs. Upload some of your photos to some of the photo sharing sites and make a small residual income each month from bloggers and others who have websites and use your photos. Without much effort, you should be able to make at least $25 a month (and much more than that if you have uploaded several hundred of your photos).
Saving for retirement is difficult. You must motivate yourself to save for an event that is decades away, while money is very tight now. However, if you just make the simple steps outlined above, you will have a minimum of $135 a month to save. That is $1,620 a year for retirement. This won’t fully fund your retirement, but it will give you a start until your financial situation improves.
**Photo by 401K**