It's one thing to say I'm going to increase my savings in 2010...it's another thing to have an actual plan of action. Type A me has a plan of action for short term and long term savings growth.
1. Increase my Roth IRA contribution to the maximum (currently $5,000 a year)
As my favorite financial guru, Suze Orman would say, let's do the numbers. Let's say I start investing $5,000 a year in to my Roth IRA, when I am thirty and I make the same $5,000 investment for 30 years. (30 years because at 59 1/2 I can withdraw money from my IRA). That's $5,000 X 30 years for a total of $150,000. But we are not taking in to account compound interest. Let's assume an 8% average annual return on my investment. That will give me about $662,000 after 30 years. If at 59 1/2 or 60 I decide to take all that money out, my tax bill will be zero and I would get all $662,000. Reality Check: I may not be able to invest in a Roth every year for 30 years because there may come a point when my income disqualifies me. That makes it so crucial to sock as much money away as I can in to my Roth IRA.
2. Put more towards my mortgage
You might ask how paying more on my house increases my savings. Do you know that if you were to make one extra payment a year on your mortgage you could shave 5 years off the mortgage? Since it doesn't seem like I'll be able to sell my house any time soon I might as well work towards paying it off sooner.
3. Put side hustle in to savings
I am fortunate to have some additional income from a side hustle. But this is going to be really hard for me to do because I rely on the money I make from my side hustle of teaching to finance my travel plans. I think it is essential to put all the money I make teaching in to my savings account. Where there is a will there is a way and I will ALWAYS find a way to travel.
4. Downgrade to Upgrade
My apartment lease is up for renewal and it's a good time to negotiate for a lower rent. If they won't lower the rent it might be time for me to move. Sometimes you have to downgrade (in this case to a smaller or less expensive apartment) in order to upgrade (and increase my savings).
5. Time for a Raise
The economy has been rough for the last few years but the recession is thawing. I haven't gotten a raise in 2 years...not even a cost of living increase. This might be out of my control. It really depends on if the company decides to do a company-wide salary freeze (no raises in 2010). But I know I have worked my ass off and with the higher cost of insurance in addition to the higher costs of everything it's really time for a raise.
Any other ideas on how to increase my savings? What are you going to do to increase your savings for the short term and long term?