How to Save Money as We Age
Saving money for retirement is a tough concept to grasp when retirement can seem so far in the distant future. Many people wait until they are older to start saving for a house, or a rainy day fund, or even retirement, but by then it might be too late. Saving for the future doesn’t have to mean putting half or more of your paycheck away each week. However, there are plenty of small steps you can take to save money here and there while still enjoying life to the fullest.
Set Up Retirement Accounts
If you are still working, find out what types of retirement accounts are available through your company or corporation. These usually present themselves in the form of a 401k that you can automatically have a portion of your paycheck taken out and put into the savings so that you won’t even miss the money.
If you have changed companies, or are about to retire, consider rolling that money into another brokerage with an IRA type account where the money will continue to create dividends without having the money taxed immediately. This way you will be able to take small amounts out when you need it later but are making a percentage of the money accruing over time as well.
Make Most of Your Own Coffee/Meals
Taking a few minutes to make your own coffee in the morning and your own breakfast can save you a lot of money over time. Likewise, spending ten dollars for lunch daily adds up quickly, where you could bring lunch to work or make a lunch at home most days and have a lot of money saved up over time. Dinners are even more expensive, as is takeout so trying new recipes at home or figuring out a dupe for your favorite takeout meals is a great option to save up. Splurging on a nice meal every once in a while is also much more special than going out all the time.
Make a Squirrel Fund
Having a little money set aside for a rainy day is also a great way to save for the future as well. This could be as simple as keeping a certain amount from a paycheck moved into your savings account every month and only using your checking account money to pay bills and live off of. By keeping two accounts separate, you focus on what you have to use in the present and set aside for the future, whether that be for a vacation, a move to a different area or more appropriately sized house, or for retirement.
Have a Budget
Having a budget is probably one of the most important ways to save for the future. Everyone wants to live within their means, but often times that can still mean not putting enough aside for the future.
Keeping a list of monthly bills and keeping tabs on what is getting spent every month on absolute necessities will give you a good idea of what you can spend on extras as well as how much you can set aside each month in savings. Allow money for going out to eat and for fun activities, but also see how much you can transfer to savings without missing it. This will allow you to have a good amount for the future while still enjoying life today.
Use Senior Discounts
Senior Discounts are often thought of as only for people in their golden years, but many companies and businesses offer discounts at ages 50 on up. AARP starts at age 50 and can get you access to discounts from movies, hotels, vacations, and more. AAA also offers discounts to those of any age with membership for the same types of services as AARP. There are many stores that offer discounts on certain days for seniors, such as grocery stores. These tend to be mid-week and also allow you to do your shopping on a quieter day of the week so you will also have some peace and quiet while you shop, but also get a discount on your groceries. Little discounts can add up over time to big savings over the years.
Oftentimes there is a time when we either outgrow the current living situation and move on to bigger and better, then there are times where the opposite is true and we find ourselves living in a bigger house than necessary, owing more than one car when one would do and other variables. Downsizing can save money from things like heating and cooling a larger house that may have been fine when multiple children lived there but now that they are out on their own it might prove to be too big. There are also plenty of communities that offer condo or smaller plots where the outside is taken care of so it cuts down on not only owning equipment to mow the lawn and take care of outside maintenance but lowers monthly bills.
Sharing one car when you go most of the same places is another great way to downsize. Not only does it save on insurance, but the maintenance stays much lower as well.
Sell Old Items
This goes along with downsizing but also can be done at any stage of life. How many of us have a basement full of stuff that we never use but keep “just in case” we might need it in the future? Selling these items either at a yard sale, community sale or through sites like Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp allows you to clean out old items and also make a little extra cash on the side. The old bicycle you never ride anymore or the paperbacks that will never get read again are only taking up space and will lose value over time. Selling them before they get to a point where they no longer work or hold value is of no worth to anyone. Consider joining a community-wide yard sale or posting old items online for sale. Even getting a few dollars for items will make a nice profit and clear out space for you.
Consider taking a portion of the money you may have saved and invested it in a portfolio that will make you extra money over time. There are low jeopardy stocks that are less risky but may not have an as high yield over time, however, they will still add to your savings more than you would’ve had before. Higher yield will add a substantial income but may also lose more over time. Choose which route is the best manner for your future while also getting the chance to add to your investment savings.
Overall, there are a lot of ways that you can save for the future in simple effective manners. These don’t mean you also can’t enjoy your life and have fun as well. Take some of the little ways of saving such as making your own coffee and lunches and calculate that out in the long-term. Something that seems so small really adds up over time and allows you to have more funds in your possession in the future when you might need it.
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