It takes money, a lot of money, to raise a family these days. That’s probably not a secret and if you are reading this article then you are probably struggling with the reality of building your nest egg. But what can you do when your children are grown – and have hopefully moved out of the house?
Well, the good news is that many of your expenses should go down once your children are grown. However, this also means you are dealing with the financial fallout of sending one, two, or more kids through college. As such, here are some ways to save your nest egg for when your children are grown.
- Learn How to Cook
If you already know how to cook, then this is a pretty easy step. But if you are hopeless in the kitchen, you might want to consider getting up to speed fast. Here’s why, eating out every night is not only bad for your health, but it is bad for your bank account.
Think about it, restaurants are businesses, not charities. This means that they need to make a profit to stay in business. How do they do this? Well, by charging a multiple on their cost of goods. Sure, eating out is a nice treat every now and then but if you are paying four or five times multiple on your groceries, then you need to ask if it is worth it.
Cook at home, get the average cost of your meals down to $5 or less while eating healthy. This doesn’t mean that you need to join a meal subscription plan – as these are very expensive. Instead, buy good, locally grown food and then cook it at home. Not only does this support businesses in your community but it also will help you to lead a healthier life while keeping your hard-earned money in your bank account where it belongs.
- Leave Your Credit Cards at Home
It’s quite simple, you can’t use your credit cards if you don’t have them with you. As such, keep them at home and only bring them out when you absolutely need to use one. In addition, make sure whatever you charge to your credit card you can pay off in the next month. Doing so will help you to build your nest eggs by getting out of credit card debt.
- Cut Your Mortgage Down to Size
Often the pull to cut down on mortgage payments is to refinance a loan. However, the reality is that this does little to cut down on your monthly mortgage payment and often ends up with you being even deeper in debt.
As such, a better option is to find ways to accelerate your monthly payments, or if you are over 62 then to consider a reverse mortgage. This would effectively eliminate your monthly mortgage payment and this would see you end up with more money in your bank account.
Don’t worry about paying back the reverse mortgage either. It’s not that you are going to take the money and run, but a good option is to get a life insurance policy that will cover most or all of what will be due on this loan. This strategy will make sure that your heirs don’t have to worry about repaying a reverse mortgage once the property passes to them.
- Everything Old is New Again
You probably used hand-me-downs when your kids were growing up and why not as it is a great way to save money. But you shouldn’t just do it for your kids. Think about buying second hand for yourself as well. Maybe it is jewelry or a classic watch that you can buy something for a fraction of what it would be new.
Another way is to look at how to take care of what you already own as this will help to extend its lifetime. For example, why should you spend hundreds of dollars on a new pair of shoes every year? Instead, you fix the heals and soles and in this way, you can keep your shoes for 10 or 20 years or more. You might think that this does not add up, but take $200 and multiply this by 20 and you have $4,000 that could go towards your retirement.
- Manage Your Home Like a Business
For many of us, our homes are the most valuable asset we own. However, they can also be money pits. Probably not as bad as owning a boat but close, especially if you need to rely on contractors to care and maintain your house.
Sure, mowing your lawn, painting, and gardening takes time but think of the money you will save. This is money that you can put to work for you through the miracle of compounded interest. If you need help, then ask your adult children for a hand – after all, you fed and clothed them for years so do owe you.