Find Money to Save

You'd be surprised at how small amounts redirected toward retirement savings can add up.

Finding extra cash to put away for retirement can be difficult because of expenses and competing goals. A good place to start is evaluating your budget. Do you really need that specialty coffee every day? Could you manage without having all the premium cable channels? Eating lunch out on weekdays? Think about it.

As this chart shows, even small amounts can increase your savings substantially over time.

Small Sacrifices Can Add Up to Big Savings
Sacrifice Extra Monthly Contributions($) Value ($) in
10 years
Value ($) in
20 years
Value ($) in
30 years
1 Premium cable channel 15 2,458 6,931 15,068
1 movie out a week 35 5,736 16,171 35,158
3 specialty coffees a week 52 8,521 24,026 52,235
4 lunches out a week 60 13,110 36,963 80,361

This hypothetical example assumes that the amounts saved by making small budget cuts are invested monthly in a retirement plan account earning an average annual return of 6% compounded monthly for various time periods. These costs are hypothetical. Prices in your area may be different. The example doesn't represent any actual investment. Your investment returns would be different.

Source: Invesco

Next steps

These four strategies can help you find the money to save for retirement:

1. Participate in your employer's retirement plan and/or set up an IRA. In a retirement plan, your contributions can be automatically deducted from your paycheck before you receive it. With an IRA, you can make automatic contributions from your paycheck or checking account.

2. If your employer matches your contribution, max out the match.

3. Raise your retirement plan contribution whenever you receive a pay raise.

4. When you pay off a loan or credit card, redirect the payment amount to retirement savings.

Use these calculators to help you devise a savings strategy: