You’ve heard it time and time again — another couple is on the way to an early retirement because of
super saving, and you’re thinking, “How can I do that?”
Well, it’s no easy task, and the path is not the same for everyone. If you want to make super saving a reality, it will take a lot of planning, sacrifice and discipline. Here are key things to keep in mind as you start to build your nest egg.
[See: Basic Money Lessons You (Probably) Missed in High School.]
While there are no magic tricks or spells to help you save or retire early, financial freedom is attainable if you’re organized and stick to your goals. If you are really serious about making major changes to your savings, these tips will help you get started. Whether you want to be a super saver or not, it’s always a good time to start thinking about your finances, no matter what your
financial goals may be.
Outline your goals. Financial goals are important, but they’re even more essential if you’re trying to save aggressively for a major life milestone or early retirement. Start thinking about your long- and short-term goals. Do you need a well-stocked emergency fund? Are you looking to buy a house in the next few years? Start a family? If you want to make all of these things happen, you’ll need to have a concrete plan in place.
In addition, think about the sacrifices you will have to make and repercussions certain decisions may have on your financial goals. Do you need a flexible work schedule or higher income? Is living in a pricey metropolis, such as San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles, keeping you from your goals? Knowing where you’ll need to be flexible in order to meet your savings goals will play a big factor in your financial health in the long run.
Start saving now. Don’t wait if you have lofty savings goals. If you want to save 20 percent of your paycheck each month, there is no better time to start than now. It takes time to acclimate to a new lifestyle, so give yourself some time to adjust.
Start looking at what is dragging you down, including unnecessary expenses, such as eating out or online subscriptions you’re not using, and explore your options. List out your memberships and only keep the ones you can’t live without. Do you need your premium gym membership or can you take advantage of the outdoors? Be conscious about energy bills and electricity usage by making sure your heat or air conditioning aren’t running at full throttle when you’re not at home. All of these seemingly small adjustments can make a big difference.
Stick to it. Half the battle will be sticking to your new regimented budget. With online tools such as Mint and Acorns, you can stay on track and accountable for your spending and saving.
But remember, too strict of a budget can drive you crazy, and you need to remember to reward yourself. If you look forward to meals out, don’t cut them out entirely — schedule one restaurant lunch or dinner each week or month to keep you sane.
Learn to invest. Savings are important, but helping that money grow is what can make a real difference. If you’re looking to save, you should have a good investment strategy to make sure your money works as hard as it can for you and at least keeps up with inflation. The more you save, the more you need to make sure your money is being used wisely, so consider an IRA, bonds or stocks, for example. Not sure where to start? Consider a certified financial planner.
(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
8 Times to Talk to a Financial Advisor.]
Start a side hustle. Want to save more? Earn more. There are so many ways you can start making additional money to help you on your way to super saving. Think about renting an extra room in your house to visitors on Airbnb. Or if you’re going on vacation, try renting out your apartment while you’re gone and stash the extra cash. If you have some time on your hands, take advantage of the on-demand economy by working through TaskRabbit, becoming a Lyft driver or helping with a friend’s child care on the weekends. There are a lot of ways you can work to make a little extra, which will help you save extra.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
(AP/Paul Sancya) 12 Best Part-Time Jobs to Pay the Bills.]
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How to Become a Super Saver originally appeared on usnews.com