Monday Night Finance- Volume 47

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4 Simple Ways to Accelerate Your Retirement Savings

What do you think of when you hear the word “retirement”? Do you think of living in Florida and playing golf every day? Or perhaps you dream of spending more time with your grandchildren or volunteering at your favorite non-profit. While we typically associate “retirement” with “leisure”, if you haven’t saved enough money for retirement, thinking of retirement might also make your heart race. If the thought of retirement stresses you out because you are worried about running out of money, you may want to read this post about accelerating your retirement savings.

The key to a comfortable retirement is to think ahead and to have enough money saved up in your retirement savings account. However, you may have fallen behind on your savings and need a boost to get you on the right track. ~Growth Rapidly

The first step towards accelerating retirement savings is to figure out how much money you will need to retire. If you need help, you may wish to work with a financial advisor. A common rule of thumb is that you can safely withdraw 4% of your assets a year in retirement. CountAbout has added a new feature (the “FIRE widget) that plots a percentage of your assets against your expenses. This can help you visualize the gap between the current retirement lifestyle you can afford and your expenses. Once you’ve established your savings goal, the next step is to work towards achieving that number. The first move you want to make is to ensure that you receive the full employer match on your retirement accounts. Check out the article for the rest of the advice!

Become A Shipt Shopper: How You Can Make Money Shopping

We love talking about side hustles on Monday Night Finance. With the rise of the gig economy, it is easier than ever to create your own business. Side hustling can supplement your primary job, or you can scale the side hustle into a full time job. With the gig economy, you can choose a job that fits your schedule. This is especially important if you have family or other obligations that makes it difficult for you to work a traditional job. In this article Melanie of Partners in Fire describes how to make money shopping with Shipt.

One way many people are making some supplemental income is by becoming a Shipt Shopper. For those looking to dive into more gig economy apps, Shipt is potentially a solid choice for you to try. ~Partners in Fire

Shipt is a personal shopping service similar to Instacart. Shipt is owned by Target, but Shipt works with several other partner stores as well. Consumers can place an online order to one of these stores and a Shipt shopper completes the purchase and delivers the items (including groceries and in some states alcohol) to the front door. As a Shipt shopper, you would be responsible for going through the aisles and buying the items and delivering them to the customer. Shipt gives shoppers a pre-paid card to pay for the items so you do not have to worry about “floating” the money while waiting for reimbursement. Shipt shoppers can earn between $16-$22 per hour, excluding tips. Thinking about working for Shipt? The article has an extensive FAQs section for everything you might want to know.

Make Saving Money Fun, Not the Spending

We all know that spending money is fun. Right? Buying new clothes or a new toy immediately gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. Why? Well, it’s fun to imagine yourself enjoying that object. (Even if the shirt ends up in the closet with the tags on until you eventually donate it). We all enjoy the thrill of a new purchase differently- for some people shopping is a compulsion, but for most of us, it’s a happy diversion. The coronavirus pandemic has made the past few months very difficult. And we are all looking for something to make us feel a little bit happier. Clicking “buy” at your favorite online store gives you something to be excited about for a little while- but is it worth it? How many times have you regretted your purchase within a week of making it? And even if you do enjoy your purchase, is it moving you towards the life you want to lead?

Unless you’ve naturally fallen into the habit, it’s ridiculously hard to make saving money feel fun. That’s what it comes down to when you want that dopamine hit getting delivery or future packages will provide. ~We Want Guac

In this article, Darcy of talks about how to set your own incentives to save money. Credit card companies are great at coming up with reward points to help us spend money. Unfortunately, credit cards don’t make any money if we choose to save money instead. So we need to come up with our own rewards. Darcy recommends setting goals with a very tangible reward. For instance, rewarding yourself with takeout from your favorite restaurant after reaching $2,000 in your emergency fund. (Obviously we’re all chasing different financial goals and have different tastes- but you get the idea). Picturing these rewards can help you power-through when times are tough. Still looking for inspiration to save? Darcy has many more examples in her post!