We’ve all been there. Realizing the end of the month is upon us and how on earth are we going to make all the bills, save for retirement, and enjoy life. It’s hard.
I have a huge goal of retiring when we are 55. Probably not likely, but we are shooting for it. But the biggest problem with that is saving money. Gone are the days of pensions and guaranteed retirement. Now it is in our own hands. In this day and age of childcare and student loans, retirement saving can be really, really hard. But it has to be done.
The best way to get there is to sit down and write out a budget. Track your expenses for an entire month and see exactly where you are spending. Believe me, adding it all up can be incredibly enlightening. Who knew that a few cheap meals out a week, could total $300?
Once you have figured out exactly what you are spending, cut it down a little bit in every category that you can. So you spent $1000 on groceries last month, aim for $900 this month. But this means you have to track your expenses. Yes, its not fun, but the payoff is worth it!
Once you see exactly where you can cut, and you follow through, this will open up a chunk of money in your budget. Put it towards retirement, put it towards debt, or just plain put it in a savings account for a rainy day.
The most important step to being financially free is to know exactly where you stand. Ignoring the budget and spending what you want to will not put you in a good financial position, even if you make a great deal of money. Treat retirement as a goal and work hard to get there.