Trick yourself into saving for retirement - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Trick yourself into saving more

Are you looking to set aside some money for retirement? If it seems like it's getting harder and harder to accomplish, we've got some saving strategies to help you bank some more bucks.

First, before you spend money on something you want, rather than need, convert the dollar cost into your personal time. In other words, figure out just how many hours you'd spend working to pay it off.  You just may decide it's not worth it. Then put that money you would have spent into your retirement fund!

Another trick - when you're looking at spending money on something, think about what the money could buy you in retirement. One example - you're looking at buying a new $30,000 car. Plan B is to buy a used car for $15,000. Use the 4% retirement income withdrawal rule, and that $15,000 dollar would mean another $600 a year in retirement. While that isn't a fortune, it could make a difference if you're living on a fixed income.

If the idea of saving for something as vague and distant as "retirement" isn't motivating you, come up with some specific categories.

Maybe a "retirement travel fund". This isn't just a fun idea - a study in 2009 found parents saved twice as much in education accounts labeled with  the kids' pictures than they did in accounts simply labeled education.

And the top tip, of course, is to make your savings automatic. Have a set percentage of each check direct deposited into retirement savings.

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