From "Good Financial Cents" and "AARP Bulletin," here are ten nifty ways to almost painlessly get enough money for our investments which, thanks to compound annual returns, can become impressive retirement nest eggs:
- Begin a year of saving extra nickels - Start with one, double that the second day to a dime's worth, triple it the third day to fifteen cents, etc. Keep this up for a year. The maximum daily input to one's piggy bank (achieved on day 365) will be $18.25. The total saved in one year will be $3339.75.
- Direct the amount of any bonus, promotion, or pay increase into a savings or investment account. Our lifestyles are not diminished, but the added dollars will mount up, usually to multiple tens of thousands of dollars over one's career.
- If married and both spouses are working at least some of the time, live only on the earnings from the spouse with the primary income. Apply the balance to investments.
- Put every $5 bill received (for instance, as change) in an envelope. Once every 3-6 months, deposit that total in the bank and use these extra amounts to fund new investments. Folks have noticed this can gradually add $500-$1500 a year to assets that provide good returns, and the $5 at a time set aside are often not missed .
- Put all loose change in a can or jar. When it is full, deposit the total into one's credit union or bank account, and use these extra supplements to fund new investments.
- Write out one's saving and investment strategy, and update it every few years. Simply lacking a carefully thought out plan to which we can refer keeps nearly 90% of us from maximizing our potential for long-term financial independence.
- Use grocery lists, and stick with them. Many consumers spend a significant amount each year on accumulated impulse buys at the supermarket. (This tip can also help us keep off the extra pounds.)
- Drink more water and eat less meat. Special bottled beverages, coffee mixes, and sodas frequently cost much more than either tap water or bulk purchases of bottled H2O. Everything else being equal, meat is one of the pricier items in one's diet. Food costs might also be reduced by obtaining much of the veggies from a home garden.
- Maintain our transportation. Regular oil changes, diagnostics, tire checks, and routine engine servicing can prolong a car's useful life, keep gasoline mileage lower, and help us avoid big ticket repair and replacement surprises.
- Establish and sustain good credit. Over one's lifetime, there will almost certainly be occasions for borrowing, as for a house, car, education, etc. Usually, the higher our credit scores, the easier it is to borrow and the lower the interest rate, potentially saving us many thousands of dollars in extra interest payments. Obviously, the more money we do not have to pay out to others, the more is available for investments that can provide us with valuable dividends and capital appreciation.