You’re never too young to start saving up for your retirement. And if you have dreams of retiring early while having the means to enjoy life and travel, the younger you start saving, the easier it will be. We know it’s hard. You might be busy paying off debts or making sure your budget is enough for day-to-day living, but the best way to save enough is to do it and do it consistently. Read on for some tips.

1. Set your goal.
Before anything else, make a plan for your retirement. An article on Forbes.com notes that you need to project how much your annual income should be to live comfortably when you retire, accounting for inflation. Once you have this number, you can compute how much you should save up in the next two decades in order to reach that goal.


2. Save first.
According to CNN Money, financial advisers suggest putting 10 to 15% of your income into your retirement savings. If you want to retire early, though, Entrepreneur recommends saving 50% in your 20s and 30s. Whenever you get your salary, remove the money you’ll be putting into your savings first before computing for everything else. Think of your retirement fund as a mandatory payable. If you’re having a hard time doing this right now, one thing you can do is to drastically increase the percentage of your savings once you get a higher paying job.


3. Cut back on spending.
If you’re dedicated to achieving your goal, your first priority should be to lessen your expenses. Make sure you’re living within your means and adopt lifestyle changes if you need to. List down all your expenses and remove anything unnecessary. Something as simple as dropping your “one cup of coffee a day” habit at work can give you more savings. So is staying at home on weekends and reducing out-of-town trips.


4. Make investments.

Investing in the stock market is a good way to build your nest egg. Just remember to only invest your extra money or a designated portion of your income—not your life savings—so that you can better weather the ups and downs of the market. Worried about the volatile nature of stocks or simply don’t have the time to learn about them? Try going for Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITF) instead, which are more stable and good for long-term returns. Banks now offer to invest your money for you through UITF, so it’s also less stressful for you.


5. Get a sideline.

If you have plenty of payables, you’ll find that saving money might not be enough. To increase your savings, the solution is to earn more. Take on side projects and put the money you earn from them directly into your retirement fund. You can also consider getting a second job or starting a small business.

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