Retirement is a major life event that needs to be financially planned for. Unfortunately, many people don’t believe that they have or will have enough saved.
In a recent Financial Post article, they shared that nearly half of non-retired Canadians don’t believe that they will be able to live comfortably in retirement. In another research paper published by PwC on Retirement In America, they shared;
“A quarter of US adults have no retirement savings and only 36% feel their retirement planning is on track. Even for those who are saving, many will likely come up short.”
But rather then throw up your hands and just give up, there are some simple things you can do right now to help you save some money that you can invest for your retirement.
Here are ten ideas to get you started;
1. Do some home maintenance and repairs yourself
We have become a society of people who hire others to do things for us. Whether its minor repairs or maintenance such as painting, gardening, house cleaning or clearing out gutters – we are very quick to outsource these activities.
But these services can add up – and quickly. Rates for these types of services can range from $50 to $150 an hour. So if you are able and can find the time, try doing some of these things yourself. Who knows, you might even get a sense of satisfaction of doing something yourself along with keeping some money in your pocket.
2. Make coffee at home
You’ve probably already heard about this one but did you know you could save between $1000 – $2000 / year. In an article published by NextAdvisor – they analyzed the costs of brewing coffee at home and buying it outside. They estimated that it costs about $.03 per cup for an annual cost of $45.90. Whereas if you were going to buy a coffee at Starbucks for $2.75 / cup (and that’s at the low end) the annual cost is estimated to be $2,007.50.
Even if you love your local coffee house, you have to admit that the extra $1500.00 in your pocket each year would be nice.
3. Make and eat meals at home
Along the same idea of drinking coffee at home, eating your meals at home is also another significant cost saving idea.
According to Forbes, ordering from a restaurant is five times more expensive than making it yourself. And even the pre-made grocery kits are three times more expensive.
There is also the other added benefit of knowing what you are actually eating which may turn translate into a health benefit too.
4. Review your video streaming services
As we all sheltered in place over the pandemic, the demand for video streaming services skyrocketed. In April 2020, the average streaming service spending was $35/mth. As of June 2021 this jumped to $55/mth.
Chances are it’s time to do a check up on this.
Are you still actively using all your services? Are there some that should be disconnected? If you dropped it down by $20/mth that would be an extra $240 in your pocket each year.
5. Review your cell phone bill
Another spend that we often have that we rarely review is our cell phones. We will invest in the original contract and then often just stay with it for years.
But there are some real tangible savings to be found by shopping around.
Many cell phone providers will have incentive plans to attract new clients. As well, if you had rolled a phone into your plan and it’s now paid off, likely the carrier isn’t calling you now to reduce your payments.
So make a habit of reviewing your plan, your usage and services used on an annual basis. Chances are there is money to be saved here.
6. Use cash back credit cards
If you are a disciplined person who pays off their credit card each month, a card that offers cash back can be a great way to get some additional money in your pocket. Many credit cards offer anywhere from 2% to 5% of your credit card spending back a year. For example, if you were putting $1500 on your credit card each month – they would send you about $300 back.
But before you enroll be sure to do your research. Check out what the annual credit card fees are, what the terms and conditions are and don’t sign up if you won’t be able to pay the full amount of the bill each month. The interest rates charged on credit cards can be a financial killer.
7. Track your spending
Do you really know where and how you are spending your money? There is a saying that goes “Beware of small expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship”.
Start tracking your spending and actually see where it’s going. Are there any expenses that you can cut back on?
8. Wait 24 hours before buying something online
The world of online shopping has increased substantially over the last number of years. Statista reported that it has grown from 1.66 billion shoppers in 2016 to an estimated 2.14 billion in 2021.
The thing you may not realize is that our online shopping experience has been specifically designed by companies to incent us to impulse buy. Either through creating a sense of urgency through limited time offers or analyzing your personal data to see what they might entice you to buy, it is a constructed experience.
So before you hit that purchase key, possibly walk away from your screen and really give some thought as to whether you really need it. You may be surprised by the answer.
Read more: Top 10 Tips For Smart Spending In 2023
9. Check out local free events
With the world starting to open up again after the pandemic there is pent up demand to do things outside our homes. But rather then paying for events, look for things to do that are free.
Libraries, walking tours, parks, city festivals are often great ways to have some fun while still holding on to your money.
As well, the world of free virtual events has also ballooned. A quick google search of free events in a city will likely bring up many different options for you to check out.
10. Socialize on a budget
We all desperately want to get together with family and friends again and to do this doesn’t have to be elaborate. Dinners where everyone brings a course or even just serving appetizers and a few drinks rather than an expensive and extravagant sit-down meal are just a couple of different options.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s spending time with the people that we care about that is the most important thing.
We all work hard and want to be in a position where we are able to enjoy our retirement when we get there. If we scale back a bit on some minor things now and invest these savings it can quickly add up.
For example, if you’re able to save just an extra $3000 a year and invest this with an 8% return, within just five years you could have accumulated an extra $25,000 and in 10 years $53,000.
And this will definitely help make our retirement life a little more comfortable.
This article was originally published on Booming Encore and is republished with permission.