THREE SIMPLE WAYS TO BOOST SAVINGS
Saving for retirement doesn't have to feel overwhelming. In fact, you can jump-start your retirement savings right now. Follow these three simple steps to help boost your savings.
1. Create a budget. Building a budget lets you see how much you're spending, and where. A budget can be a powerful tool to help you find ways to save money. Creating a budget typically involves three basic steps: First, write down everything you spend for a month. Divide those items into needs, such as housing and transportation, and wants, such as entertainment, to see where you can trim the fat. Second, create targets for your spending and savings to help you achieve your long-term goals. Finally, track your progress so you stay focused.
2. Don't withhold more taxes from your paycheck than necessary. Who doesn't love a big tax refund? But when you get a refund, it essentially means you've withheld too much from your paycheck and given Uncle Sam an interest-free loan. The IRS's Tax Withholding Calculator can help you figure out how much to withhold based on your circumstances.
If you do reduce your withholding, use the extra income in your paycheck to contribute more to your workplace retirement plan or pad your emergency fund. And don't forget to adjust your tax withholding whenever you experience a major life event, such as having a baby or changing your marital status.
3. Make saving automatic. Try putting your savings on autopilot. If you automatically increase your savings rate, for instance by putting 4% more of your salary into your workplace retirement plan each year, you'll get closer to your goals without even trying. Over time, you'll see a big impact. A person earning $50,000 can save nearly $170 more in pretax dollars per month — $2,000 per year — by raising his or her salary contribution rate from 6% to 10%.
Because these contributions are deferred before taxes, they may make a smaller impact on your take-home pay than you realize. In our example above, the additional savings of $2,000 per year only reduces total take-home pay by $1,500.
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Boost your savings by logging into your account and increasing your contribution rate by at least 4%. Don't have an online account? Registration is easy. You'll be doing something good for your future — today!