Finding Extra Dollars for Retirement

Avoid impulse buys.

Buying something you don’t really need because it’s on sale isn’t saving money; it’s spending money you could otherwise stash away for retirement or use to reduce debt.

Negotiate a lower interest rate.

It never hurts to call your credit card company to negotiate a lower interest rate. If you keep yourself out of debt and pay your bills on time, you have the upper hand. At the start of the conversation, you may run into some resistance, but don’t give up! If you emphasize what a reliable customer you’ve been (and mention that you have no problem searching for a new credit card company), you should get what you want.

Cut up some credit cards.

You can even take it a step further and close out some of your credit card accounts. For instance, if you have cards that charge an annual fee, you could find extra money right now by getting rid of them. It’s an expense you can easily eliminate with a single phone call to the customer service number on the back of your card. Plenty of credit cards offer great benefits with no annual fee.

Go digital for your entertainment fix.

Cutting the cable cord may seem like a drastic measure, but thanks to the ever-increasing availability of content via streaming platforms (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube), you’ll hardly notice a difference—but your wallet will! Or, if you’re a regular moviegoer, joining a streaming service instead could add up to big savings. For example, Netflix offers thousands of movies and TV shows, all easily accessible with a click of a mouse or remote control. You may end up watching a lot more movies, and you’ll avoid being tempted to buy that expensive theater popcorn and candy

Check out the library.

Can you remember the last time you visited your local library? If it’s been a while, you may want to make a trip there soon. You can borrow much more than just books, DVDs, and CDs. Most libraries offer other cost-cutting perks, such as discounted museum passes, free Wi-Fi access, or musical instruments. Just think of all the creative ways you could save by borrowing instead of buying!

Bring the party home.

Instead of going out to socialize with friends and family, why not get together at your home to save some cash? Make a few hors d’oeuvres or a nice meal. Playing board games, as corny as it may sound, is always a good time, and it’s a whole lot cheaper than going out for entertainment. If your friends like the idea, convince them to take turns playing host. Saving big bucks while spending quality time with loved ones? Sounds like a perfect night!

Use your own bank’s ATM.

Perhaps you’ve been there: you’re rushing to your lunch meeting, realize you don’t have any cash, and the most convenient ATM is not your bank’s. The $2 or $3 charge for using another bank’s ATM is steep, but it’s not that big of a deal, right? Not so fast! Those fees may seem small at the time, but just a couple transactions per month can quickly snowball to hundreds of dollars. Avoid wasting money by planning where you’ll get cash before you leave the house

*Only if appropriate in your specific situation. Please carefully consider all terms and conditions of a new arrangement and consult with your own tax and financial advisor.

 Neither Shan Sutherland nor Commonwealth Financial Network® provides legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation. Shannon Sutherland (CA Insurance Lic #0D28620) is a Registered Representative and an Investment Adviser Representative with/and offers securities and Advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services offered through Simple Impact or CES Insurance Agency


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