Many people feel that they cannot start saving for retirement with a Roth IRA or any other investment for that matter because their family’s monthly budget is just too tight. I can remember asking my own mother one time when I was a little kid if she had been investing for retirement, and she just laughed. But, the truth is that not only should we all be saving for retirement, but that we all can save for retirement and find money to invest in a Roth IRA. The trick is to start small, make your investments automatic, and start building up your investments until you are maximizing your Roth IRA contributions. Here are a few ways to get you started when you think that you have little or no disposable income left at the end of the month.
One of the fastest ways to raise funds for anything whether it is paying off your debts or investing in a Roth IRA can be found by selling something. We all have things around our homes that are just lying there collecting dust. I used to have hundreds of DVDs and CDs that I would buy, collect, and then never watch again. Selling those was an easy way to raise several hundred dollars. There are other big ticket items that you can sell in order to make a bigger impact on your tight budget and increase your disposable income. You may want to consider selling things like a car, boat, jet skis, or even stocks in order to raise funds. Downgrading from a brand new car with a high monthly payment into a beater that just gets you from Point A to Point B and back again can save you hundreds of dollars in the long-term which can then be used to accomplish your financial goals.
Tighten Up Your Budget
Everyone always defaults to tightening their budget when times are tough. This is a tried and true method to finding places where we can save money and ultimately reallocate that money to better uses such as investing for retirement. While a lot of noise has been made about the popular suggestion to cut out premium coffee from your budget in favor a brewing it yourself at home, there are other vises that you can cut out that are incredible money traps. For example, a two pack a day habit can cost you almost $3,000 per year. Just cutting back to even one pack per day can save you a lot of money and improve your health too. The same can be said for expensive energy drinks that young Americans and guzzling by the gallon. At $2 or more per can of soda, these energy drinks have the potential to be a drain on a budget very quickly.
Take A Second Job
Most people only want to focus on cutting unnecessary costs out of their budgets when times get tough and their disposable income is very low. You should consider looking at the opposite side of the equation as well. Not only is cutting expenses important, but you should also consider raising your income level. If you were to take a part-time second job, your financial options would open up exponentially. With that extra income you could invest in a Roth IRA for your retirement, pay off credit card debt, or finance another one of your financial goals. I’m not suggesting that you go out and try to find a second career on top of the one that you already have. But, I am suggesting finding a small part-time job that will add just enough income to give you and your budget breathing room.
Invest In A Roth First
Like tithing to your church, consider investing in a Roth IRA at the very first part of the month before you pay any of your other bills. Take the money off the top and start investing in your Roth IRA. This will let you start investing and will ultimately weed out things from your budget that you cannot afford when you start to run out of money at the end of the month. I’m not suggesting that you jump head first into investing $415 per month in your Roth IRA if times are tight and you cannot afford to do so. But, there are many brokerage firms will let you open up a Roth IRA with no initial deposit as long as you maintain a minimum $25 per month automatic investment. Check out some broker reviews like the ShareBuilder review, tradeMONSTER review, and others to find one that fits your needs. Using the excuse that you just do not have another cent that you can invest with in a Roth IRA is just simply that, an excuse. We all need to make an extra effort even though times are tough to continue investing for retirement. There is money that can be found in our budget or added to our income to help alleviate the pain of having little or no disposable income to invest with.
Photo by Dan Moyle via Flickr