Saving for retirement is very important. Potentially the most important thing you can do to set yourself up for a high quality end-of-life situation. Whether you start an IRA or some other sort of investment account to fund your golden years, the key is to get started right away.
Even if you are in your 30s, it pays to start now. Ideally, you want to start saving for retirement in your early 20s on your first job, sometimes that is not the case. Lots of young people in their 20s are looking to go out to bars and restaurants and spend their newfound wealth on quick weekend trips and vacations to exotic locales. Resist that urge, so you can enjoy your later years.
Keep Track of Your Spending
Watching what you spend is very important when you want to make sure that you spend less than you earn. Keeping track of that is going out of your wallet is essential to figuring out what you can do without and what you need to keep in your monthly budget. Saving your receipts is a good way to make sure you know what you are spending. That helps with cash purchases, because you can see how much your cash slips out of your hands.
Get Your Debt Under Control
Credit card debt can be a huge burden on anyone looking to save for any reason. It can be a drain on your monthly income that kills your ability to put away money and save for the future. If you are spending money and interest maintaining old debt, that is less money that you can put in your IRA. That hurts your ability to create a sustainable next egg for your golden years.
Look into paying off your credit card debt with the snowball effect. That can mean taking on the highest interest card that you have and focusing a payoff plan on that balance. Once you knock that you, you can move on to the next credit card balance.
Save Right Away
Make sure that when you get that paycheck or the direct deposit rolls into your account, pay into your savings and your IRA first. Everyone else can get theirs after you get yours. Pay yourself first is a concept that can seem at odds with the personal responsibility culture that undergirds personal finance, but it really is good for society in the long run. There is value in having self-sufficient senior citizens that are able to survive without large government benefits.
Boost Your Savings Percentage
An ideal percentage of your income that goes to savings is 10%. Even if you can only save 5% with your first few paychecks, start with that as a base. Look to alter your budget each month so that you can build your way to the goal of 10%. That is simpler than an all or nothing goal in your first month.
Saving is a skill that can be learned. Do not be discouraged. Get going know and your future self will thank you.