Following are five tips to help you strike a balance between reducing your expenses and building savings for a financially secure future.
1. KEEP TRACK
Use a worksheet to keep track of how much you have coming in each month (e.g., paycheck, other income) and how much is going out (e.g., bills, mortgage payments, groceries, entertainment, eating out). The U.S. government provides links to free budgeting worksheets on its financial literacy website, mymoney.gov, under the Tools tab.
2. DEVELOP A REALISTIC GAME PLAN
Once you know how you are spending your monthly income, you can try to reduce expenses. Consider holding off making purchases that you don't really need. Think about a "cash and carry" policy, where you only make purchases with the cash you have on you at the time.
3. STICK TO YOUR PLAN
If your income increases after you have reduced expenses, it may be tempting to start spending more freely again. Resist the temptation!
4. BUILD AN EMERGENCY CASH FUND
Gradually build an emergency cash fund. This fund can provide a cushion to help pay for emergencies and unexpected expenditures.
5. MAKE YOUR MONEY WORK HARDER
One of the best ways to make sure you have enough savings for your future is to maximize your contributions to your 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan through regular payroll deductions or by contributing to a Traditional IRA.
Your contributions are tax deferred, so more of your money is working for your retirement years. Building long-term savings is not easy, but the rewards can be substantial and will give you more control over your own financial situation and greater peace of mind for your future, including your retirement years. To find out about other ways to save more for your retirement, call your local Mutual of America Regional Office.
Before investing, you should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the variable annuity contract and the underlying investment funds. This and other information is contained in the contract prospectus or brochure and underlying funds prospectuses and summary prospectuses. Please read the contract prospectus or brochure and underlying fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses carefully before investing. The contract prospectus or brochure and underlying fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses can be obtained by mail or by calling 1-800-468-3785.
Mutual of America's group and individual retirement products are variable annuity contracts and are suitable for long-term investing, particularly for retirement savings. The value of a variable annuity contract will fluctuate depending on the performance of the Separate Account investment funds you choose. Upon redemption, you could receive more or less than the principal amount invested. A variable annuity contract provides no additional tax-deferred treatment of benefits beyond the treatment provided to any qualified retirement plan or IRA by applicable tax law. You should carefully consider a variable annuity contract's other features before making a decision.