My husband and I, some years ago, traveled and "lived" in our RV, although for only a few months at a time. The idea of tiny houses, does not appeal to me, although they are adorable! Living in vans, which seem to be the latest rage, seem less than ideal in my estimation, although it would completely depend on the individual and preferences.
Even with having the RV, my husband and I found we needed to invest a good deal of money to even own one. This wasn’t an inexpensive option for us, since we weren’t ready to to give up our home. Funds are going to be required no matter what option you choose. Saving enough to live comfortably in any form requires planning and commitment!
As a young couple just starting out, it’s hard to imagine the hours that will be invested to reach the final threshold of retirement. Hours of getting up every morning, going to work, exhaustion at the end of the day and week, can be challenging! The goal is to be able to earn enough to pay bills, take a vacation, buy a few luxuries and if there is anything left over, put some aside for retirement!
The sad truth is, however, statistics show half of American people have no retirement savings at all. Of those who do, most only have about $5000. That isn’t nearly enough to live on for two months, much less a life after retirement! So what’s the answer? It seems most of us have more funds going out than coming in when we have mortgages, car payments, credit card bills, food and utilities to pay for! That doesn’t include the “smaller” stuff like cable TV, gas for our vehicle, entertainment and clothes!
I was reading a book not long ago that had an interesting idea. It suggested each person should put away 12% of their income every month, and, that we should pay ourselves first! The funds should be put in some kind of investment program. That seems like such a large amount, but when you consider the benefits, surely it’s a good idea.
The author recognized there would be those like me who would say, “Are you kidding?!” So he suggested putting aside 1% the first month, then 2%, and increasing the percentage increment up to 12%. If you do it a little at a time, it isn't supposed to seem like so much!
He also emphasized that it’s the “little” expenditures that really get us, like the daily cup of Latte or meals eaten out or snacks; extra clothes or shoes we buy…..just because we like them, rather than needing them; and excessive entertainment venues, and so much more!
So I challenge you to evaluate where you spend extra money. Are there areas where you could refrain from spending that would ultimately help in “saving” for retirement. I admit, I haven’t stopped long enough to write down all my spending habits, but I aim to! Has anyone else actually recorded for an entire week or month every cent they’ve spent or tried putting funds successfully away for retirement? What was your strategy?
Smart Women Finish Rich, David Bach, 1999