Dave Ramsey has a simple and blunt rant: Normal is broke! If you want to retire with a decent nest egg, you have to do things differently than others.

Most people do not budget. They do not establish goals. They don’t watch their spending. They live paycheck-to-paycheck. They rely on credit cards for routine purchases.

These are the people who will also have to rely solely on Social Security in retirement because they didn’t make small, meaningful changes to their finances when they were you.

Don’t let that be you. Here are seven reasons that will cause you to be broke in retirement:

1. Living Without a Budget

A budget guides your spending so that you can grow your savings.  You will never achieve your financial goals without a budget.

Budgeting does not have to be a four-letter word. Here’s a simple overview:

  • Figure out how much money you have coming in each month
  • Add up all of your bills and expenses (including housing, food, transportation, clothing, loans, and credit cards)
  • Create a plan to pay bills, eliminate debt, and grow savings

Empower Makes Budgeting Easy

There’s a reason the Empower app is called “budgeting for people who hate budgeting!” — it makes budgeting easy for everyone, including those who dread it. 

Empower includes budget suggestions, as well as fully customizable budgeting options and categories, such as major expenses, coffee, fashion, rideshare, and beauty. 

Best of all — Empower lets you set up spending limits in each category and will send you alerts when you’re close to going over budget. 

Download the Empower app and customize your budget today.  

2. Spending Too Much 

Many people think spending money lowers their stress. This isn’t true. It’s more of a numbing of the stress. In the long run, retail therapy leads to more stress.

Plant seeds for enduring happiness by choosing to spend your money responsibly. 

Create a budget and start tracking your spending.

You will notice how easily money “leaks” from your bank account on random, “inexpensive” purchases. When you track where your money goes, you will position yourself to spend it more wisely.

Open a CIT Savings Builder Account

Want to set yourself up for savings success and be better prepared for retirement?

Make it easy! The CIT Savings Builder high-yield savings account is the perfect tool to kick-start your savings journey. 

You only need a $100 opening deposit, which is great when you’re just starting.

And here’s the kicker: If you deposit at least $100 every month, you’ll earn the top-tier interest rate on your account balance.

See the banner below for the current top APY tier. 

Savings Builder

Pro Tip: Set up an automatic monthly transfer to your CIT Savings Builder account to make regular saving a no-brainer. 

Open Your CIT Savings Builder account now and get started.

3. Going Further into Debt

Credit card debt is dangerous because it accumulates painlessly. The minimum payments are attractive and affordable. $25/month is nothing. 

But then one card gets maxed out. And then another…

Before you know it, credit card debt has snuck up on you, and the interest makes it difficult to pay down the balance. 

If you have a home, student, or auto loan, create a plan to pay off that debt and quit paying those interest charges.

The best way to get out of credit card debt is to budget. Spend less than you earn and put all of your excess towards debt. You want to be debt-free when you hit your retirement years because debt will just suck your savings. You want to be living debt free with a big savings in your golden years. Start now.

Lower Your Debt Interest Rate with a Credit Land Balance Transfer Card

You don’t have to keep paying ridiculously high interest rates. Balance Transfer Credit Cards take all of your credit card debt, and put it onto one card. Why would you do this? Because balance transfer credit cards offer lower interest rates, sometimes down to 0% APR for 12-18 months (your rates will depend on your credit score). Can you imagine 0% interest for an entire year? What an opportunity to get ahead!

Visit Credit Land Balance Transfer to see which credit card is perfect for you. I.e. the card offering the lowest interest rate 😉

4. Waiting Too Late to Start Investing

When we don’t have a plan for our money, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to save and invest for retirement.

A budget allows you to gain control over your finances. When you can keep income over expenses, you have money to invest.  

The power behind investing is compound interest: Your investments earn interest, and then that interest earns interest. The longer you invest, the more time it has to earn you money. 

Time is the best thing to maximize compound interest, so you do not want to wait to start investing. Start investing today.

Fast-Track Your Investing With Acorns App

Investing helps you grow your money faster. So if you want to start investing immediately, you can do so with very little money. Check out the Acorns app. It helps beginners to easily start investing using only pennies. The app takes your spare change from everyday purchases and invests your spare change in stocks.

It’s all thanks to their round-up feature. When you make a $3.26 purchase, $0.74 goes into your investment pool. Acorns is a great way to learn and fast-track growing your wealth using spare change.

Download the Acorns app to start growing your wealth.

5. Not Taking Advantage of a Company 401(k)

One of the best ways to invest is to contribute as much as possible into your company’s 401(k) plan. Sometimes a company will match dollar-for-dollar what you invest, and sometimes they will give you a 50% match.

It can take a number of years for your investments to earn a 50% return, but it can happen instantly when you participate in your company’s 401(k) plan. So, max out your contributions.

Look for Emerging Investment Opportunities on “Main Street”

It’s hard to pick the next emerging company like Apple, Google, or Tesla. But, if you like taking a chance on emerging companies, then you will want to consider Mainvest.

What is Mainvest? It is a crowdfunding platform for small businesses. It helps willing investors find these investment opportunities for small, “Main Street”-type businesses, like a coffee shop, a sandwich shop, a bakery, or a microbrewery. Starbucks, Jimmy Johns, Panera Bread, and Samuel Adams all began as small, local companies. Look where they are today.

Mainvest vets each business, which increases the likelihood for success. So far, 96% of Mainvest’s investors have been repaid with a return on their investment. If you want to try your hand at funding the next emerging company, you can get started for just a hundred bucks with Mainvest.

6. Withdrawing Retirement Funds Too Early

Our government gives us tax advantages when we save for retirement. That’s the carrot. There are major penalties when we withdraw our retirement funds early. That’s the stick.

On the surface, borrowing money from your retirement plan seems like a good idea. Don’t fall into that trap. Some retirement plans will not let you contribute until the loan is paid off. You will pay off the loan with after-tax dollars. The loan might also contribute to poor spending habits.

Do yourself a favor and do not withdraw your retirement funds early and do not borrow from your retirement account.

Free Workshop – Join our free Simplify Money Workshop

The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.

We want to help you do both.

Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt. 

What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:

  • Hacks to lower your monthly bills
  • Hacks to spend less on debt
  • Hacks to start investing
  • Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)

This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.

Join our free 5-day Simplify Money Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.

7. Not Having a Plan for Your Retirement

A budget will help you grow your savings every month, but you will need a retirement plan that will sustain you financially when you exit the workforce.

You want to invest as much as you can to give you a bigger cushion and to leverage compound interest.

Don’t let retirement catch you by surprise and do not rely solely on Social Security. Start planning today for a successful retirement.

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