Thinking about putting aside some extra money to save for retirement, travel or fun? Retirement, travel and fun go together don’t they? We have the time, we have the desire, now all we need is a little more cash in the kitty to make it a reality.
Why not make our retirement life easier by starting a new habit of putting away a little here and there. If we put away a little more and get our monthly expenses down a little, we’re on the way to being worry free financially.
For goodness sake sweetie we’re going to live such long lives, it makes sense to hang on to what we have. A little extra cushion means we can relax and enjoy the best of our lives without money worries.
Now where were we?
Oh yes, 8 simple ways to save for retirement & fun
Look at Your Credit cards – We all use credit cards, especially for travel, but is yours working for you? I used to have a Southwest Chase Visa, but as the rewards slowly crept down in value and the price of a ticket crept up, I decided to save the annual fee and canceled my card. I converted the rewards balance I had into gift cards from one of my favorite stores, Athleta.
I’ve kept my Amazon Chase Visa because I accrue points I can spend on Amazon and there’s no annual fee. What’s in your wallet? How can you get rewards for what you actually want and use?
Rent Space on Airbnb – Got an in law apartment or a separate entrance to your finished basement? Why not make a nice extra income as some other seniors have by renting it out on Airbnb ? If you’re still living in a large home and don’t mind the company, you can even try renting out individual rooms.
You’ll incur some additional expenses to start with such as cleaning supplies, linens and keys etc. However the extra income you’ll earn should easily offset these costs and the ongoing earnings could supplement your pension or social security nicely.
Not sure about sharing your space? You may feel more comfortable with Freebird, an Airbnb for seniors, another option for 50+ travelers recommended by AARP.
Cancel Services You’re Not Using like Subscriptions & Cable
With cable companies pushing us into “bundling”, we often end up with services we don’t need such as a home phone line. If you have a cell or mobile number do you really need a second line?
Call your cable or internet provider and see if you can cut the cord. You only need internet service to watch your favorite shows on HULU or Netflix. Buy a ROKU, Amazon Fire or Chromecast device and turn your TV into a “smart tv” and watch programs on apps such as Netflix, PBS and Hulu.
Signed up for Amazon Prime? If you’re not using it the yearly fee may not be worth the cost. The convenience of two day shipping isn’t that amazing, you can still get free shipping on most items. The Amazon Prime app offers video streaming but you can find most shows on Hulu or Netflix. I find most movies I wanted to watch cost extra so the yearly subscription didn’t seem worth it.
Clean Out Your Closet and Consign
Time for a Marie Kondo style closet clean out? There really is magic in tidying up. Our closets can always use a periodic overhaul every season, so why not take those clothes to your local consignment shop and get paid cash on the spot?
If you’re ambitious, try online “consignment” sites like Thredup. or perhaps eBay if you’re internet sales savvy. Keep in mind, shoppers on these online “stores” rely on keywords to search for what they want. In other words, items should be recognizable brands like “J Crew” and in excellent condition to net the most cash.
Downsize Your Home
Downsizing is the not quite so simple way to save more for retirement. It’s a big step but can result in a huge windfall if you’re equity rich. If you’re living in a home by yourself or just the two of you, why not think about selling in this hot market? Use the payoff to start living smaller with no debt.
You could cash out on your main home, take the profit and buy a smaller place with no mortgage. OR stash that money in a secure savings or money market account and rent instead of buy. Let someone else have the headaches of home ownership. You’re too busy traveling!
Cut Down on your Starbucks
What’s your fix? Coffee from Starbucks or soda from the machine? How about kicking back to one treat every other day. Take the money you normally spend on your Grande Caramel Macchiato and put it in a travel jar with a picture of your dream destination on it. Not only will you be saving money but your diet will thank you too.
There’s 250 calories in a 16 oz Grande Caramel Macchiato at a cost of $4.45. Even if you’re not a Starbucks afficionado think of how much you can save by changing a few small habits.
Use the Library for DVDs, Books and Magazines
I rarely buy books unless it’s something I can’t get from the library. If you’re an avid reader like I am, this can be a huge savings.
Even smaller libraries have jumped on the e-book wagon. You can download the e-books onto your Kindle or use your iPad with the free Kindle app to read on the go. Even when I’m traveling I have access to my local library and can request, hold and download my e-books onto my Kindle with my hotel or Airbnb wifi connection.
Craving entertainment options other than books? DVD movies, TV shows and documentaries can also be found at the library. I love to binge on a box set like Victoria and while a DVD isn’t quite as convenient as having it stream on my TV, free is hard to beat.
Buy a Water Filter and Reusable Bottle
Why buy bottled water when a Brita filter and S’Well or other water bottle is cooler and cheaper? Not to mention better for the planet. Take your own empty bottle to the airport and fill it up once you get past security. Some airports such as Denver International even have water fountains with purified drinking water.
Even if it’s BPA free, store bought water comes in plastic bottles that may be loaded with other chemicals. Buy your own bottle and pop that change into your travel fund instead.
Of all these tips to save more for retirement, we can agree that downsizing your home isn’t an easy one. But I felt it worth including as it’s a fantastic choice to improve quality of life and your bottom line.
Not ready to take the big plunge and downsize?
Try these other little tips and the savings will start to add up. Take that extra cash and put it into your savings and you’ll be flying business class before you know it.