You needed that new pair of shoes. You needed that trip to the Bahamas. You needed that new iPad. The truth is, you needed to save money.
Saving money is crucial to setting a foundation for your future retirement. While it might seem premature – “I have YEARS before I retire!” – it’s truly never too early to start planning.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to give up spending all together; just start thinking of how you can slightly alter your choices. With a little creativity, you can shift your budget to help your short- and long-term future.
Shop around. Every dollar makes a difference. Whether it’s insurance, gas prices or simply renting a movie, there are resources that provide price comparisons to help you get the best deal. For example, the state’s insurance department website is a great resource for quote comparisons. The same is available for free entertainment. Free Things to Do in Chicago is a fantastic website that shares no-cost activities happening around the city.
A penny saved is a penny earned. A penny might not be worth much today, but you get the idea. Collecting your loose change will leave you with a surprise treasure trove at the end of one, five or even ten years.
What you don’t see, you won’t miss. You just got your paid, and your entire paycheck is yours to spend! Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave much left over to transfer to savings. Remove the temptation by setting up an automatic transfer to your savings account that corresponds with each pay period. That way, you can spend to your heart’s content while still saving for your future.
Follow the 24-hour rule. Before making an impulsive purchase, give yourself a minimum of 24 hours to contemplate whether or not you really need this potential investment. Is buying a new set of golf clubs the right thing to do? How often will you use that purse? If you’re still thinking about it the next day, go ahead and buy it.