2017/10/30

3 creative ways to save enough for retirement

A new survey found that nearly 8 out of 10 American workers live paycheck to paycheck.

Saving 15% of your income for retirement is a worthy financial goal, but it's not easy to accomplish.

The demands of day-to-day life can sometimes make saving any amount of money a challenge. Here are some ideas for making room in your budget to save enough without living like a monk.

Cut out fees

It's amazing how many low-fee or even no-fee options exist for a variety of products. Add up all the fees that you pay on a monthly or annual basis, then look at each one and ask yourself if there's a cheaper alternative. Don't forget things like fees on investment accounts and mutual funds; these charges usually come right out of your investment balances, so you may never realize how much you're paying.

Negotiate discounts

Most people are used to negotiating on vehicle purchases, but they never think to try negotiating on other big-ticket items. But you really have nothing to lose by asking for a better price — and you could gain quite a lot. So the next time you're in the market for a new appliance or a major repair, first find out how much this expense would cost on average (hint: Google is your friend), then use that number as a baseline.

Make one-time payments on annual expenses

Big annual expenses, such as insurance premiums, can usually be paid either all at once or over several months. Most companies will give you a significant discount if you make the payment all at once. To make this easier on your budget, break out the payment into monthly amounts and save that much money each month in a special savings account. That way, you'll be sure to have enough to pay the whole sum.

Getting the money to the right account

All of these money-saving approaches can be very helpful, but unless the money you save actually makes its way into your retirement accounts, they're not terribly effective.

Having a well-funded savings account can help too, because it gives you another place to go when you need money in a crisis, aside from canceling your retirement account contributions. However nice it would be to have a little extra money now, it's even nicer to know that you'll have plenty of money around once you're ready to retire.

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