Save the Difference

Dec 12, 2018

The IRS recently announced the annual cost of living adjustments for 2019. You can now save up to $3,500 as an individual or $7,000 as a family into your HSA and $19,000 into your employer sponsored retirement plan. 2019 is a great time to max out your health and retirement savings!

Can’t Save That Much?

However, if you’re like me, saving $19,000 in my 401(k) and $3,500 in my HSA is just not going to happen. I wish I could invest that much, but it’s just not financially feasible at this time. There’s something I am going to do, however, and I encourage you to do the same – save the difference. Simply add the 2019 difference to the amount you’re currently saving for an easy increase.

Put Away a Little More

The HSA contribution went from $3,450 to $3,500, a difference of $50. If I contribute just 1 extra dollar each week, I’m good to go. Easy! That’s the pack of mints or the lip balm that I impulse buy at the check out line.

Find Ways to Save Even More

My 401(k) now permits me to save $19,000 instead of $18,500, a difference of $500. Which means to save the difference, I should contribute an extra $500 or about $10 a week to my 401(k). Here’s my strategy:

  • My husband and I are reviewing our cell phone data plan to see if we can downgrade. Potential savings: $240/month
  • I’m cancelling a credit card with an annual fee. Potential savings: $90/year
  • Skipping Friday night take-out once a month. Potential savings: $240/year
  • Waiting 24 hours before buying the items in my online shopping cart. Potential savings: unknown, but could be a lot!

With those few painless strategies, I can easily increase my contribution to save extra to my 401(k). I just need to calculate the dollar amount into a percentage and tack it onto my contribution. And if I look at my spending habits more, I’m sure there are other easy ways to cut back a tiny little bit.

Take the Challenge

Could you save an extra $500 in 2019 – any little expenses that you can cut back for 10 bucks a week? I challenge you to find an area where you can shave off a little bit of your spending and invest it instead. If you need additional ideas and your plan has access to Financial Finesse, you’ll find more ideas that make saving easy and painless.