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How To Catch Up On Your Retirement Savings

How To Catch Up On Your Retirement Savings

We are all looking forward to a time when we can relax and enjoy ourselves without worrying about such trivial things as getting up early or finishing a report. Going through different schools and then several jobs throughout our life teaches us to treasure the precious moments we have to ourselves, but sometimes we can focus so much on this cycle of “work hard – play hard” that we lose sight of the bigger picture.

Many of us tend to spend money on vacations, drinking with friends, gadgets and food in an effort to make the most of our free time, and it isn’t until we hit 40 or 50 that we begin to think about our retirement savings, or lack thereof. Even if you have been leading a somewhat hedonistic lifestyle and not really thinking about the future, you can still catch up on your retirement savings with these few simple strategies.

Generate some additional income

It’s easy to get used to a lifestyle of unrestricted spending, but the problem with such a lifestyle is that you’ll have very little money left over each month, money that could have been tucked away in your bank account. A quick fix is to find a way to earn some additional income. Part-time jobs can give that extra bit of cash you need, but you can also use your skills. You may be able to:

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  • Offer tutoring – you can give lessons to others on anything from music and dancing, to cooking, math or a foreign language. Whatever knowledge and previous experience you have can be put to good use.

Violine lessons
    • Do some freelance work – people need a lot of different services, ranging from ghostwriting and translating to designing and programming, or even bookkeeping, accounting and legal advice. You can do this online, from the comfort of your own home. Good places to look for such work are websites like Upwork and Freelancer.
    • Create and sell a variety of items – toys, clothing, jewelry, furniture, paintings and sculptures are just some of the things that you can sell to people if you have some talent and patience. You can end up earning quite a bit this way if you are good.
    • Sell some of the stuff that is collecting dust in the attic – there are always a few old items that we barely use up in the attic, down in the cellar, or just littered around the house. Some of these might fetch a good price.

    Earning extra money will require you to devote a bit more of your time to work, but you can always try to make some money from the hobbies you enjoy doing anyway.

    Cut down on living expenses

    If you catch yourself worrying about life in retirement, it means it’s time to try and cut down on some unnecessary expenses as soon as possible. Effective budgeting doesn’t mean going into the woods and living of the land to save every possible penny – it’s just about making smart decisions, prioritizing and learning to do without certain luxuries.

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    Pink piggy bank surrounded by stacks of gold coins.

      Looking for things that are on sale, buying in bulk, switching to a more cost-effective brand and using your DIY skills are all great money-saving tactics that don’t require you to significantly lower your quality of life. Being careful about how you spend your money means you will have more funds to put aside, which brings us to our next point.

      Catch-up contributions

      In the US, for people who have hit 50, the best strategy is to put as much money into your 401k as you can. Some company retirement savings plans allow you to put additional funds into your 401k by way of reducing your salary by said amount. You get a bit less money per month, but it goes into your retirement fund and you get a tax deduction. These catch-up contributions can go all the way up to $5,500, which can make a big difference in the long run. Other countries such as Canada and Australia have similar schemes, so check out what is available in your locality.

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      Consider an IRA rollover

      An IRA gives you a greater freedom and because the penalties for early withdrawal are far less than with your typical 401k plan, you have the option of making good use of your money a bit earlier, e.g. in case of emergency or tempting investment opportunity. Experts agree that rolling over your 401k into an IRA is a good option for those who haven’t put much thought into their retirement fund for years and want to catch up quickly. You also have the catch-up contribution option with a maximum of $1,000 on both traditional and Roth IRAs.

      Move to a smaller home

      Sold Home For Sale Sign & New House

        If you are in your late forties or early fifties, chances are you’ve sent your kids off to college, and if you live alone there is not a whole lot of need for huge amount of space. Moving into a smaller home in a quiet neighborhood – or perhaps an apartment in the city – and selling your old house can be a good way of infusing your bank account with a large sum of money, as well as drastically cutting costs on maintenance.

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        There is no need to panic if your retirement fund doesn’t look that good and you’re already pushing 50 – with a bit of strategic planning you can implement money-saving measures, get some additional income on the side and do a number of different things to ensure that you can spend your retirement relatively carefree.

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        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Last Updated on April 19, 2021

        40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

        40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

        Ever had those moments where you really wanted to eat something delicious and healthy but didn’t have the financials means to do so? Whether you’re a student or parent, this compilation of 40 great, healthy, and inexpensive recipes will make every night special and help you get fit! No more meals where you have to force the food down! It’s time to make that budget your best friend and turn it into great recipes. Enjoy!

        1. Fish Tacos in Crunchy Shells ($3.56 per serving)

        Is there a better way to end the day than a Fish Taco dinner filled with protein and nutrients and is easy on the wallet? This recipe calls for a boys’ or girls’ night in front of a good movie or game.

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          2. Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup ($3.43 per serving)

          We’ve heard of the delicious spaghetti and meatballs recipes, but imagine having that same meatball goodness in a soup? It’s like Christmas in a bowl. Healthy, warm, and only $3.43 per serving.

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            3. Spaghetti and (Vegan) Meatballs ($2.13 per serving)

            Now it’s time to look at the traditional spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but with a little twist: vegan meatballs. This way, you can enjoy the Italian tradition without adding on the extra calories. I’m sold!

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              4. Kabocha Squash and Lentils ($3.12 per serving)

              Absolutely delicious way to end the day with a Kabocha Squash and lentils dinner. The beauty of this recipe is that you can actually make many other things from the mixture, from dips to full-on meals. All under $5 per serving.

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                5. Baked Coconut Lentils ($0.91 per serving)

                Coconuts are always a good idea, but it doesn’t have to be eaten only for dessert or breakfast. With this great recipe, you can now eat a lunch or dinner filled proteins and a coconut twist. Yum!

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                  6. Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken ($3.40 per serving)

                  We love chicken and at less than $5 per serving, we are in heaven with this recipe. Add some vegetables and rice on the side and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

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                    7. Organic Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin ($2.36 per serving)

                    This is absolutely divine. You get in your healthy greens and your fat macros with this great recipe. Takes only a few minutes to make and it’s easy on the wallet. Bon Appetite!

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                      8. Beef Pot Roast ($3.22 per serving)

                      One word: perfect. This meal will warm your insides and fill you up with the high protein content.

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                        9. Fajita-Style Quesadillas ($0.43 per serving)

                        If you want to eat Mexican tonight but want to stay in your budget, this Quesadilla recipe is your best friend. It’s tasty and filled with healthy ingredients for less than a dollar per serving.

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                          10. Fish Tostadas with Chili Lime Cream ($2.82 per serving)

                          Another great lunch idea for the busy days ahead. Prep this in the morning or the night before and you’ve got yourself a healthy and cheap lunch meal!

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                            11. Beef and Black Bean Chili ($1.36 per serving)

                            Might not look like much, but this amazing chili is actually extremely healthy for you. The protein from the beef and the carbs from the black beans will fill you up in no time, and keep you full for a long period of time. Delicious and warm, just right for the winter!

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                              12. Crispy Fish and Peppers ($2.18 per serving)

                              Amazing recipe for anyone looking to change up their meals while keeping their macros in check and not going overboard on spending. Satisfies your crunch tooth (see what I did there?) and gives you all the protein you need to stay full and lean.

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                                13. Vegetarian Gumbo ($1.50 per serving)

                                You have the perfect macro mix here with the carbs, fats, and proteins. At less than $5 per serving, you’ve got yourself a meal that will last for the whole week!

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                                  14. Mexican White Bean Soup ($0.99 per serving)

                                  With the cold weather creeping in, it’s not a surprise that soups are coming back in style. This great Mexican White Bean Soup dish will keep you warm for winter without making a hole in your pocket.

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                                    15. Black Beans with Mango & Cilantro ($0.38 per serving)

                                    Mangoes make every dish a little bit sweeter, which is why we absolutely love this recipe. A normal rice and bean dish might be a little meh, but add the sugary taste of mangoes and you’ve got yourself a party!

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                                      16. Bean Burritos ($0.71 per serving)

                                      If you’re having people over tonight and don’t want to spend too much time or money on food, this dish is a great option! You can even cut up the burritos into pieces and make finger foods while everyone’s watching the game or gossiping.

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                                        17. Five-Spice Beef Kabobs ($2.43 per serving)

                                        The spices in this recipes add a delicious twist to the beef kabobs, which is definitely worth trying!

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                                          18. Cornmeal Crusted Pork ($1.92 per serving)

                                          If you like the fried crunch but want to opt for a healthier alternative, cornmeal is your man. This healthy recipe will satisfy all your fried desires without making you pop open your pant’s button.

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                                            19. Chicken, Tomato & Cucumber Dinner Salad ($2.57 per serving)

                                            Easy to do, extremely healthy, and super delicious. A must-try!

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                                              20. Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper ($1.90 per serving)

                                              I can’t believe how cheap this meal is, especially for all the nutrients it contains. You can make a big pot on Sunday night and divide it into small portions to last you a whole week.

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                                                21. Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff ($1.90 per serving)

                                                Craving pasta but not sure what to top it off with? How about smoky mushrooms with a twist?

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                                                  22. White Bean Tuna Salad ($1.36 per serving)

                                                  You can add this White Bean Tuna Salad in your sandwich or just eat it as-is for a quick lunch on a busy day.

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                                                    23. Sausage Eggwiches ($0.80 per serving)

                                                    Who says you have to eat fast food to get an eggwich? This delicious recipe will give you an amazingly healthy eggwich for less than a dollar per portion. Can you say Breakfast?

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                                                    Sausage-Eggwiches

                                                      24. Baja-Cali Black Bean Salad ($1.17 per serving)

                                                      Great snack to add to a movie-night with friends. You don’t have to use chemically-processed salsas anymore, you can now use this homemade salad for your chip dips.

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                                                        25. Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce ($2.24 per serving)

                                                        Italians always knew how to make carbs look good! This delicious Gnocchi recipe will give your lunch a whole new meaning. Easy to make and only $2.24 per serving.

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                                                          26. Vegetable Lasagna ($1.73 per serving)

                                                          If you were looking for a healthy lasagna, you’ve just found it. At under $5 per serving, you can fill yourself up right away without putting on the extra calories.

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                                                            27. Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps ($2.05 per serving)

                                                            Don’t know what to make for lunch this week? How about delicious chicken wraps with a healthy ranch? This recipe will make all your lunches, even the quick ones, healthy and colorful.

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                                                              28. Quinoa with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($1.24 per serving)

                                                              A dish that has quinoa and brussel sprouts can’t be unhealthy, it just can’t, which is why this dish is one to keep in the books. Easy to make, healthy, and will keep you full for a long period of time.

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                                                                29. Butternut Squash Chili ($1.04 per serving)

                                                                You don’t need meat to make chili now that you have this recipe! It’s 100% healthy, filling, and smells absolutely delicious.

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                                                                  30. Fast Shrimp Bisque ($2.03 per serving)

                                                                  Seafood doesn’t have to be expensive if you know how to do it right, and this fast shrimp bisque is a great recipe to try if you’re in the mood for some seafood!

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                                                                    31. Chicken-Noodle Casserole ($0.98 per serving)

                                                                    Looks divine doesn’t it? This super easy to make dish will satisfy all your taste buds without burning a hole in your wallet or adding a few extra numbers on the scale.

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                                                                      32. Burrito Cups ($1.18 per serving)

                                                                      Entertaining someone tonight and don’t know what to make as appetizers? These burrito cups are a great alternative to chips or other greasy finger foods. All you need to enjoy it is a spoon and a cup.

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                                                                        33. Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Pasta ($2.45 per serving)

                                                                        Another impressive shrimp recipe under $5 per serving. The lemon-dill twist adds a great taste to the dish.

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                                                                          34. Potato Frittata ($0.87 per serving)

                                                                          If you want to eat potatoes for breakfast but still want it to be healthy, this is the recipe for you. At under a dollar per serving, this potato frittata will make you see potatoes in a whole new light.

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                                                                            35. Grilled Pork and Pineapple ($2.67 per serving)

                                                                            Meat and fruits? Oh, yes. The juiciness of the pork mixed with the liquid sugar in the pineapple will make you wish you knew about it sooner.

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                                                                              36. Greek Honey-Lemon Pork Chops ($2.15 per serving)

                                                                              Another splendid recipe mixing sweet and salty for a healthy meal. Easy to make and absolutely mouthwatering.

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                                                                                37. Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry ($2 per serving)

                                                                                You can add this healthy stir-fry to any dish as a side or amply enjoy it as-is for lunch or dinner. You can even make a wrap sandwich out of it if you’re in a rush to eat.

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                                                                                  38. Herbed Salmon ($2.49 per serving)

                                                                                  Salmon contains a healthy dose of fats that will boost your metabolism, lower inflammation, and make you happier. At under $5 per serving, need I say more?

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                                                                                    39. Five-Spice Pork Kabobs ($1.96 per serving)

                                                                                    Exquisite recipe under $5 per serving that will most definitely awe everyone at your dinner party.

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                                                                                      40. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Mango-Black Bean Salsa ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                                      You don’t have to eat sweet potatoes alone anymore with this flavorful recipe.

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                                                                                        Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: 5 Dollar Dinners via 5dollardinners.com

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