Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Before you don your festive green, it’s good to think about saving some, especially for retirement.
You might not be thinking about it now, but small changes to your current routine can add up more than you think. No luck required. Without drastically compromising your quality of life, you can improve your financial wellness in a big way. Your future self will thank you as the loose change saved here and there adds up to quite the pot of gold...er, nest egg.
Below are some tips and ideas that can help you save a few shekels without driving you crazy (though we can’t speak to the desire to drive out any snakes…).
1. Pay Cash for Your Purchases
While we’re not suggesting you start hoarding gold bricks beneath your mattress, paying for purchases in cash can help make you more cognizant of where your money is actually going. Spending a few dollars on a morning latte or bus pass seems a lot more real when it’s not just a matter of swiping plastic.
Plus, if you allocate yourself a cash budget as your mad money, you’re less likely to splurge on something extravagant you don’t really need. You could even vow to put any leftover money (imagine that!) into a high-yield savings account that will certainly be more valuable in 30 or so years than a trendy designer label.
2. Revisit Your Monthly Bills
Life gets busy — it seems like there’s never enough time for prepping corn beef and cabbage — and it can be easy to overlook just how much is being debited from your accounts each month. Are you really using that streaming service since forgetting to cancel your free trial? Are you actually making it to the gym? Phone and internet companies often offer deals for customers who bundle services like cable and internet. You may also be able to save tons on your electric bills by utilizing more energy efficient solutions for heating and cooling your home.
Viewing every day as an opportunity to save for retirement makes it a lot less daunting in the long run (and we already know running is terrible, it’s why you haven’t been to the gym since you signed up). Even $20 saved each month adds up to $240 in a year, and almost $5k over the course of 20 years! That’s a lot of money you can put toward your retirement, even if you’re tempted to use some of it on a celebratory green St. Paddy’s pint!
3. Moolah by the Moonlight
Hey, why not put those Irish dance skills to further use by teaching a class? Exchange jigs for Jacksons by getting another job. Part-time employment is a great way to make a little money on the side, and these days, it’s easier than ever to find a gig that fits into your schedule. Remote freelance work enables you to work virtually wherever, whenever. Ridesharing is also customizable to your schedule, if you don’t mind taking on some of the costs associated with insurance, etc.
Take a percentage — maybe half, to start — of the money you earn by clocking a few more hours each month and put it into a savings account that you don’t touch until you’re ready to retire. Or until you spot a four-leaf clover, whichever comes first.
Looking Before You Leap-rechaun
Remember, it’s never too early to start thinking about your retirement, but it’s never too late, either. Following steps like the ones above will lead you to greater financial security and eventually, even to the end of the rainbow where your pot of gold awaits!