I know what you’re thinking to yourself right now, I’m too young to be thinking about retirement, but the truth is…you’re not! As a matter of fact, it’s never too early to be thinking about retirement. After all, doesn’t everyone think of the Golden Years of living life however we choose to, enjoying our grandchildren, not having to answer to anyone or set an alarm clock to get up in the morning?! I recently came across this article “Secrets of Extreme Savers” and thought wow, I wish I could be so disciplined to save my money and retire early. However, I enjoy shopping (a bit too much according to my hubby, but that’s a whole other topic)! We could all make at least one change to our expenses that would greatly help us in years to come.
Consider these few things and your Golden Years don’t have to be age 60+:
Lower your daily expenses: Hand-me-downs are one of the best ways to save money as a parent. As a newlywed, you may not have children yet so let me talk in a language that you may better understand. Avoid top-of-the-line designer boutiques and fancy restaurants that are often way overpriced and offer much of the same things that you can get at a lower cost restaurant. Try shopping at Loehmann’s, Filene’s Basement or T.J. Maxx the next time you need a new pair of shoes or slacks. Instead of bar-hopping or going out to your favorite club every weekend, try hosting a “happy hour” with friends at your house, asking everyone to bring their favorite bottle or drink…saving all of you from having to pay the costly bar tab and tip the bartender!
Pay in cash to avoid debt: If you want something, save your money until you have enough to pay in cash or by personal check for that item. Believe it or not people have done it (even to buy cars and houses!) ultimately, avoiding high interest rates on bank loans and credit cards.
Live Below Your Means: Just because you can afford it, doesn’t mean you have to buy it! A vacation to your local beach or a free museum could be just as fun for you (and your children) as a lavish 5 star resort without the cost. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there is a difference between your dream vacation and a day-trip to your local amusement park, but isn’t the point to enjoy quality time with your family anyway?
Avoid instant gratification purchases: Similar to how people lose weight by waiting 15 minutes before indulging in junk food to see if they still need it or want it. Try waiting a few months before purchasing anything over $50-$100 to see if you still want it. You may find that you don’t need it and save yourself the money for something you truly need (or want) later on down the road.
Stretch a Dollar: Many companies offer rebates on their products and you would be surprised by how many people don’t take advantage of getting their money back! Take the time to complete the rebate form and mail it in for your money. Another way to stretch a dollar is to use credit card reward points to purchase airline tickets or book hotel rooms for “free.” Some restaurants will offer you a coupon for your next visit just for taking the time to review their services, so take advantage and you could be dining out on them, rather than on you!
One thing to keep in-mind, the more you save now, the earlier you and your partner will be able to retire. Here’s a great list of 75 Painless Money-Saving Tips for you to check out. Live a financially fit life and you could start reaping the benefits earlier than you think!
What do you and your partner do to save your money? Share your saving tips with us and other readers, leave a comment below!