3. Consider lifestyle changes to free up cash flow
If you can spend less today, it means you can save more for your financial future. Any expense you can eliminate from your budget makes it easier to create the savings you need to retire when you want.
You don't have to be extremely frugal. Here are some ideas of where to cut back without feeling like you've cut out all the fun stuff:
- Swap expensive memberships or regular purchases for cheaper alternatives. For example, find a gym that costs $50 per month instead of $100, or shop at the grocery store that offers more sales.
- Look at your current spending and ask yourself: does this reflect what's most important to me? If your values center around time spent with family or supporting your community, then the frequent shopping sprees at the mall or on Amazon indicate your spending might not align with your values. Spend on what's important — and be willing to scrimp in areas that don't reflect your values.
- Consider downsizing on major expenses, like living costs (i.e., rent or mortgage) or what kind of car you drive. While minding the little things will make a difference, one or two big lifestyle changes could free up hundreds of dollars per month.
Once you reduce your expenses, make sure that money gets invested for your retirement.
4. Don't just save — invest
Saving money is great, but when it comes to building the nest egg you need to support yourself during retirement, saving alone may not be enough. Interest-bearing checking accounts, money markets, and CDs all provide some return, but not much — and the average rate of inflation will likely be more than that return, meaning your cash will have less purchasing power in the future.
Investing your money, on the other hand, gives you a chance to earn a more significant return. While there is risk involved with investing, if you keep your money invested for many years (think decades), then those returns get a chance to compound and earn returns of their own.
5. Earn more income today
There are only so many costs you can cut and pennies you can pinch. If you feel like you're doing everything you can to save but it's still not enough for retirement, it's time to consider earning more.
Look for ways to boost your income today, which will give you more available cash to save and invest for the future. Some potential ways of increasing your earnings include:
- Looking for a new position and negotiating higher pay.
- Taking on more hours at work or taking on more responsibility (that could then justify you asking for a raise).
- Going back to school (or getting a specific certification), if an advanced degree would increase your job opportunities and earning potential.
- Starting your own side business or freelancing gig.
- Consulting part-time.
- Picking up a part-time position doing work you enjoy (which is important, considering this will be in addition to your full-time job).
You don't have to fear running out of money. The key is to look at how you can secure your future now, instead of simply hoping things work out. If you are ready to talk with someone to help you plan for the future, call us at 1-888-SYNOVUS (1-888-796-6887) or find a Synovus location near you.