It can be eye-opening reading what personal finance gurus recommend you have in retirement savings. If life was perfect everyone would be on-track to have all the money they need to retire.
But life isn’t perfect. Large student or consumer debt can cause you to put off saving for retirement. Same goes for life events such as having a child, going back to school, or having an expensive medical operation.
Whatever the reason, many of us put off saving for retirement. Today I want to give some ideas of how to increase retirement savings. Specifically I want to focus on ways to increase savings without increasing income.
Put off a Home Renovation (or Do it Yourself)
Home renovations can run in the tens of thousands of dollars. Even a small project, such as replacing a retaining wall, can cost thousands of dollars. While home renovations, upgrades, and maintenance can add value to a home, there is no guarantee that a renovation will pay off long-term.
Putting off a home renovation or upgrade for a few years can free up capital to invest in retirement accounts. Another option is to go the do-it-yourself (DIY) route. You can save thousands of dollars if you have enough time and are willing to put in the effort to complete home projects yourself.
Cut Back on College Savings for Children
Deciding to cut back on the amount you are setting aside for your children’s education isn’t an easy one to make. If you need to increase your retirement savings, though, this can be a necessary action to take. Your children have their entire lives to pay back student debt, but you have a limited time to save for retirement. Most personal finance experts recommend prioritizing retirement savings over your children’s college savings.
Give up Expensive Hobbies
Quitting expensive hobbies such as golf, boating, and skiing can provide additional cash flow to invest in your retirement account. Quitting an expensive hobby you love isn’t an easy thing to do. Again, if you’re behind on retirement savings it’s important to get caught up. Quitting expensive hobbies – even temporarily – can give your retirement savings a needed bump.
Get Rid of Cable
Cable is a fun and convenient thing to have, but it’s not a necessity. Cutting the cord on cable can provide an additional $50-$150 a month in cash flow. It may not seem like much, but even if you cut cable for a year you will still have a decent amount of additional money to put into your retirement account.
Drive Your Car Longer
Automobile purchases can make a dent in anyone’s budget. If you’re able to put off a car purchase for an extra year or two, it can have a material impact on your cash flow. Diverting these funds to your retirement account can give it a significant boost.
Learn to Coupon
Clipping coupons and making shopping lists that align with coupons and deals may not sound like fun, but it can save you hundreds of dollars a month. Couponing can be frustrating when you first start, but it becomes easier over time.
Couponing can result in a decent amount of savings year-over-year. Throw it in your retirement account to accelerate your retirement savings.
These are just a few ways you can increase retirement savings without making more money. I only scratched the surface with this list and there are literally hundreds of ways you can save money without increasing your income.