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Every payday, you earmark a few bucks for retirement—then the bills come in. Before you know it, all your best-laid plans go out the window with your paycheck. At this rate, your future doesn’t look so hot.
Story of your life? You’re not alone.
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), 26% of workers have less than $1,000 in their nest egg. And just like you, everyday expenses hold them back.
Let’s fix that.
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Start Small and Finish Big
If you want to spend your golden years in comfort, you’ve got to commit to saving now. Of course, you don’t want to bust your budget in the process. That’s why we suggest investing 15% of your income. It’s the perfect balance between what you’ll need tomorrow and what you can afford today.
If you can’t invest 15% today, that’s okay! Something’s better than nothing, and you can always work your way up. Why not start by adding $100 a month to whatever you’re already saving for the future?
A hundred bucks a month might not sound like a lot. But what if we told you it could add an extra $200,000–300,000 to your nest egg if you retire in 30 years? That chunk of money alone could cover your health care costs in retirement!
Easy Ways to Boost Your Retirement Budget
So let’s look at some changes you can make today. Mix and match options to get to $100, and work them into your next budget.
Skip the snack bar: $20/month
Do you hit up the snack bar every afternoon for a burst of energy? That daily $1 may not seem like much. But that’s an extra $20 a month you could put toward your future. So why not pack a healthy snack from home instead? An apple a day beats the afternoon slump better than a bag of Doritos anyway!
Rethink your data plan: $30/month
If you pay for 12 GB of data but never use more than three each month, you could shave $30 or more off your monthly bill, depending on your cellphone carrier. Look at old billing statements to be sure you can stick to the limit before making the switch.
Drink more water: $50/month
Want to put cash back in your pocket next time you dine at your favorite restaurant? Don’t order soda with your meal. That $3 a pop adds up fast. Let’s say your family eats out twice a week. Switching to water could easily save you $50 a month.
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Ditch coffee pods: $50/month
Brewing an individual cup of coffee with the press of a button is nice. But single-use pods don’t come cheap. According to Business Insider, drinking two K-Cups a day could cost you $600 more a year than pot-brewed coffee. That’s $50 extra a month! You don’t have to abandon the Keurig altogether. A reusable pod enables you to enjoy the convenience of single-cup brew without the expense.
Do your own housework: $100/month
When you’re a working parent, it’s hard to find time to think—much less keep things tidy. Hiring someone to mow or clean house just helps you stay sane. But this could be an easy $100 in your piggybank. You don’t have to give it up altogether. Doing it yourself once a month could be all it takes.
Feeling really ambitious?
Try all five suggestions and pump an extra $250 toward retirement each month. Keep it up for 30 years, and you could see a $500,000–800,000 difference in your nest egg!
Sticking with it is easy when you automate withdrawals. That way, you can’t spend that money on a spur-of-the-moment Target spree or daily trips to the snack machine.
Success Starts Here
Finding extra room in your budget to save for retirement takes a little work, but it’s worth the effort.
If you have questions or need help getting started, talk to a financial advisor you trust. A good advisor can set you on the path for a confident tomorrow by helping you build a retirement plan that fits your budget today.