Halloween may be the “spookiest” time of the year, but we find many people are constantly scared of their financial future. It’s a fact that saving for retirement , setting priorities and managing your spending isn’t easy. While developing smart financial habits takes time and effort, the best time to start, as always, is now. Here are some tips to save money and also maximize your income:
Set Realistic Goals
Consider what your true long-term priorities are and determine if you are willing to make trade-offs today to make those happen. Setting up time-frame goals and a budget to get there can help you look critically at today’s spending for places you might be able to save. By keeping focused on your long-term goals, you can more easily say “no” to unnecessary spending temptations today.
Just Start Saving
The easiest way to save is to put aside a certain amount off the top of each paycheck. You can set it up automatically to a savings/investment account or retirement plan. No matter what amount you start with, it helps to start living below your income and sets the path for future savings. When the next raise comes through, increase the automatic savings, and you will still take home slightly more than before. If you get a bonus, try to put most of it into savings. Never consider this bonus part of your everyday lifestyle spending. Over time, regular deposits will really add up.
Related: Budgeting Doesn’t Have to be Scary
Avoid New Debt
Another way to ensure that you’re saving is to avoid large, new debt as best you can. Most people will have mortgages if they own a home, but for other large purchases, wait until you can pay them in full instead of adding more debt. And don’t let credit card debt creep up while you are awaiting that next incentive check or bonus. The more you pay upfront, the less you will give away to interest payments. Keep most of your money in your own pocket as a form of future savings.
The thought of saving, or even taking new charge of your financial life, can be scary. But step by step, you can make small changes for your future. By saving a certain amount from each paycheck upfront, spending with purpose and keeping other bills and debts low, anyone can work toward to achieving their long-term goals. Everyone knows that the earlier we start, the farther it will go in the future. There’s no trick to it; give yourself a treat this week and start making these changes a priority.