If you’re a millennial, retirement probably seems like a 100 years away. It’s easy to drop retirement savings from your financial priorities when you’re facing immediate issues like covering next month’s rent or repaying a mountain of student loans.
However, the truth is that saving for retirement is so much easier when you start early. Even just stashing away your spare pocket change every month can help you prepare for your golden years.
If you want to jumpstart your retirement plans without killing your current budget, these tips can help.
Start Investing with Pocket Change
Micro-investing apps have become incredibly popular with the rise of smartphones and mobile banking. Download Stash, Acorns, Robinhood, or another micro-investing app to start saving with as little as $5.
How does it work? You simply connect your debit or credit cards to the app, and every purchase you make is rounded up to the next dollar. The difference is invested in your investment account.
It sounds small, but think about how many purchases you make on a daily basis. A few dollars dropping into your retirement savings account on a daily basis adds up quickly. $0.74 here, $0.39 there, and soon you have thousands saved for your future… with no effort required.
Save at the Store and Put It Towards Retirement
If you don’t use Ibotta, GetUpside, or other savings apps, now is the time to start. You can get cold, hard cash to contribute to your retirement account just for purchasing groceries, gas, and other items you already buy regularly. (Read more about cash back apps that every shopper should use)
GetUpside is an easy-to-use app that offers up to $0.25 off per gallon at participating gas stations. Simply claim your offer, fill up at the pump, and scan your receipt into the app. Your cash rewards are available in your account the next day. Once you score at least $10 in gas savings, you can cash out to PayPal, receive a check in the mail, or withdraw via a digital gift card.
Depending on how much fuel you use each month, your savings can make a significant contribution into your retirement account.
Ibotta on iOS or Android works in a similar way, but for grocery store and retail store purchases. You can browse deals ahead of time to maximize your rewards since the offers change weekly and monthly.
Earn Some Extra Cash on the Side
If your 9-to-5 job doesn’t give you the financial foothold you need to save for retirement, it’s time for a side gig. Luckily, the 21st century is the era of the side gig, so you have plenty of opportunities open to you.
Consider these side hustles to start raking in the cash:
- Start a blog and monetize it
- Drive for Uber or Lyft
- Use your writing, photography, or design skills as a freelancer
- Become a bartender at a local hotspot (hello, tips!)
- Sell your crafty products on Etsy
- Offer your home repair and landscaping skills to neighbors
- Teach English to kids on EF Online (Education First) & earn up to $20/hr to start
Since you already know how to live and survive on your current income, dedicate a specific portion of your extra cash to retirement and never budge from that amount (unless you want to increase it, of course!). Whatever you do, even if it earns “just” $200 or $400 a month, that’s a huge step in the right direction for your retirement account.