No one is going to just give you extra cash to fund your retirement. You've got to pull up your boot straps and make it happen. But it's not all about hard work. You can work smart too. Here are five places you can find a little extra money for your retirement. When you add them all up, you might start to see some substantial gains to your retirement savings efforts.
Extra stuff. It may not seem like much at first, but the value of the excess stuff you have in your home could be a great way to kick off a retirement savings plan. We all have a few things lying around that we aren't using anymore that might be valuable to someone else. Purge the excesses of your over-consumption. Sell things on Ebay, Craigslist, or even at your local consignment shop. It's definitely not going to fully fund your retirement, but it's a great place to start. What's more important, the stuff you have lying around or securing your future?
In your budget. It's no secret, the key to success with your finances is learning to live within your means. Most people think that if they could just earn a bit more, they would have enough. It's usually never enough. Plenty of people make six figures and aren't saving for retirement. By cutting out a few excesses from your monthly spending, and by paying less for the things you have to pay for by bargaining and finding discounts, you can really start to find some room in your budget for retirement savings.
In your spending. There are plenty of cash back credit card reward programs available to give you extra cash back for the spending that you are already doing. Use this cash back to fund your retirement accounts. There is even a reward credit card from Fidelity, paying 2 percent, that will make it easy for you to dump these reward dollars straight into your IRA or brokerage account. If credit cards aren't your thing, look for debit card rewards programs, like the one from PerkStreet. They will give you cash back for spending from your checking account.
From your employer. Many employers will offer a few different incentives to help you save for retirement. They may even be offering you free money in the form of a matching contribution for your retirement plan. Make sure that you take advantage of this free money by contributing enough to your plan to get the full matching benefit.
In the other eight hours. To get the funds needed for your retirement savings, you may need to bring in some part-time money on the side. Start with the free hours, the other eight hours you have at night after your full-time job. Turn off the TV and build some income. Many people are starting small businesses in the evenings or on the weekends. Focus on making your first $100. Then build it into $500, $1,000, and so on. Before you know it, you will be fully funding your IRA with your spare time.
Philip Taylor is the author of 104 Ways to Save Extra Money. Read his popular blog, PT Money: Personal Finance for more insightful money tips, like his recent suggestions for the best online checking accounts.