How to Fund Your 401(k) and Still Have Spending Money

A few lifestyle adjustments could help free up the extra cash.

 A young woman reaches for cash in a green wallet.
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She advises moving some expenses to the "optional column" as a way to eliminate the expense from your daily routine or from your life altogether. For example, add up the cost of having two vehicles to see how much you are actually spending on transportation, Hunt says. While everyone isn't able to share a car, other options are to use public transportation, to buy a used car, eliminating a car payment or to rent a car when you need one.

Another option is to buy a $500,000 house instead of an $800,000 one, Bendix says, as the costs of home ownership include real estate taxes and maintenance on the house as well as any mortgage you may have.

[See: 13 Money Tips for Married Couples.]

If you have a considerable amount of disposable income: These people tend to have "plenty of money," Jones says. They tend to live a lifestyle that is beyond their means. When money is easy to come by it doesn't have the same value to the earner, he adds. "Outdoing your neighbor is very common in this group," Jones says. He advises people with a lot of disposable income to use it to plan for the future by funding their 401(k) plan, and to be prepared in case there is a stock market "correction," even though growth in the stock market has recently "affected 401(k)s in a positive way." Finally, Jones notes there is "some instability in the market itself," so it's advisable to save money through a 401(k).

For those who haven't taken advantage of an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, it's time to evaluate how much expendable income you have, and find ways to create more of it. "If you make the adjustments in your lifestyle, you can increase the percent you can contribute," Jones says.

Funding your 401(k) is a way to save for the future, get matching funds from your employer and reduce your tax bill.