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Millennials cooking at home as a way to save for retirement

When you’re just starting out, saving for retirement is the last thing on your mind. But those years fly by fast. If you don’t start saving for retirement early, you’ll have to play catch up later; or even end up working years longer than you would like. And while it might seem like your budget is stretched to the limit with nothing left over to save, there’s always a way to find a few extra dollars to set aside. Here are five things Millennials can give up to start saving for retirement.   Millennials cooking at home as a way to save for retirement

Food Deliveries

These days, a few taps on your phone is all it takes to have your favorite meal on the way to you in minutes. But indulging in take-out several times a week isn’t doing your wallet any favors. You’ve probably heard it a million times before, but that’s because it’s true. Making your own food at home is one of the best ways to save money. Instead of relying on take-out as a daily practice, start preparing your own meals and snacks. You’ll be amazed at how much money is left in your account at the end of every week to contribute to retirement savings.

Spontaneous Socializing

Happy hour! Coffee! Movies! Drinks! There’s always something going on. But all that hanging out adds up fast. We’re not suggesting you give up your social life. Rather, just go about it more mindfully and be more selective about when, where and how you spend your money. In fact, the best way to manage your social spending is to plan an entertainment budget, which puts you in control of your spending and lets you know when it’s time to cut back. Try these fun and easy ways to cut back on the costs of socializing.

Multiple Streaming Services

Sure, it’s nice to have options when deciding what to watch. But it’s nicer to save money for retirement every month. There are now more streaming video choices than ever before. But you don’t need to subscribe to all of them. Choose one main service, such as Netflix or Hulu and then be selective about what you add on. For example, if you just can’t miss Game of Thrones, sign up for HBO only during the season, then cancel immediately after. If you’re strategic about your viewing, you can also take advantage of several free trials; just remember to cancel before you’re charged.

Social Media

Wait. It’s free to be on social media, so how can giving it up help you save? One word: FOMO . Seeing your friends, colleagues and yes, celebrities, living large on social media can have negative effects on your spending and saving habits. In fact, a recent study by Credit Karma found almost 40 percent of Millennials overspend and go into debt trying to keep up with their peers.

If you just can’t give up scrolling Insta several times a day, at least be mindful of who you follow and why. Remember, the curated versions of people’s lives you see aren’t always aligned with reality. And who knows how much they’re spending just to get that perfect picture? Instead of comparing your life to other people’s, make your own savings goals a priority and follow accounts that encourage you, rather than inspire the desire to spend money.

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