Suze Orman posed another great question on Twitter for her viewers. The question is, “What’s the best ways for a stay-at-home mom to fund her retirement account?” I can think of a few ways to do this, I’m not sure if they would be her ways or not since her show hasn’t aired with this question?
However, I did tweet her back to ask if she was planning on doing a segment for her show on this topic. I think it is an interesting and important topic for stay at home moms to have their own retirement fund and savings account separate from the joint accounts. That is a whole different topic on why I believe that. Now on to my answers to Suze Orman’s question.
Even though I reference savings accounts in the method’s I have used and currently using, it is best to put these savings into an IRA of some kind, a Certificate of Deposit, and even Savings Bonds that can be bought at the bank. These items will prevent you from spending the money you are saving. Many women may not be comfortable in opening account that diversifies into the stock market and a traditional IRA savings account. Even if you use the traditional IRA savings account, a Certificate of Deposit, and Savings Bonds as your method for a retirement account, you will have a portfolio for a retirement fund. No one ever said you had to follow the pack to create your own retirement account. I hope Suze Orman would agree with that train of thought because you are saving money in a way you can’t touch it without being penalized for the withdrawal.
My Top 6 Ways for a Stay at Home Mom to Fund Her Retirement Account
Start a Change Jar
Yes, you read that right; start a change jar. I know anytime I spend cash anywhere, I wind up with a handful of change at the bottom of my purse. I have used a change jar for as long as I can remember.
The change in the bottom of your purse, under the couch cushions, what spills out of pants pockets, ends up at the bottom of washing machine, and change found on the ground can add up to several dollars over a week’s time or two. Just recently, I took my coin purse, which is a 4 1/4″ wide and 3 1/4″ tall, to the bank to turn in the change. While it wasn’t quite full, I had $10 exactly in it. That was from almost a month’s time. While $10 may not sound like much a month, but over a year’s time, $120 a year from just change plus the interest, in let’s say an IRA savings account, adds up over the years.
In some stay at home mom’s cases, they may be able to put away more than $10 a month into an IRA or other type of retirement account. Don’t let those pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters fool you, those coins add into dollars really fast.
Use the Coupons and In-Store Savings on Your Grocery Bill
After going through all the trouble of clipping those coupons and matching as many up as possible with in-store sales, put that money into a retirement account with the money from the change jar. At one time, I was deducting that amount out of my checking account every time I went to the grocery store. Even if I paid cash for my groceries, I had another jar I was putting those savings into. After a month, I had placed the money from my checking account and the coupon jar into my savings account. While it wasn’t a retirement account, after that month, I did find I had right around $200 in my savings account.
Go With the Store Brand Over the Major Brand
Even if you are buying store brands over the name brands, consider figuring the difference you are saving with those products. By adding that amount to your total savings at the register, you can add to your retirement fund in another way. Every penny counts when it comes to setting up your financial future.
I noticed by using Kroger’s Value Brand before using the store and major brands, I was cutting my grocery bill by 25 to 50 percent depending on what I was needing to buy for the week. I did have to test many of the products before deciding whether to use the store brand of an item. Even by using the store brand of an item, you can save from a few cents to $2 depending on what you are buying. Sometimes, like buying paper products, laundry detergent, pet food and other large ticket grocery items, you can save up to $10 depending on the size you normally buy.
Reuse Your Grocery Bags
Yes, that’s right use your own grocery bags. Many stores will give you 5 cents back off your grocery bill by bringing in your own bags. They do this because every bag you reuse, saves on their store costs. This allows them to lower their prices because you are helping them save as well. While 5 cents may not seem like much, but when you are using 5 to 10 bags per grocery shopping trip each week, that adds to your overall retirement fund.
Shop Thrift Stores and Yard Sales
Before you pish-tosh this idea, make a list of items you are wanting to replace in your home for whatever reason. At both of these places, you can often find gently worn T-shirts, jeans, and other pieces of clothing for far less than what you would pay in the store. One example I am going to give is on jeans. I always look at jeans when I go to yard sales because my husband wears his out fast when he’s working around the home, fishing and hunting. By buying him two or three pairs of jeans from $1 to $5 a pair at either of these places, I can save $10 to $17 on one pair of jeans. By buying three pair, I am saving $30 to $51 on men’s jeans. I try to do this at least twice. There have been times I have found jeans for those prices with the price tag on them. For me that’s another $60 to $102 that can be added to my retirement fund.
Shop the Clearance Racks at Clothing Stores
This has become my favorite thing to do at Kohl’s, Wal-Mart, Penny’s, and Target. This is true for Kohl’s. I have found myself at least 10 pairs of their jeans for $4. If you have ever shopped Kohl’s, you know their cheapest pair of jeans is about $30. I would rather pay $40 for 10 pairs of jeans over $300 for 10 pairs of jeans. I have found 12 blouses for myself for $2 to $5 that were normally $15 to $40 at Kohl’s, Penny’s and Wal-Mart by shopping the clearance racks. As you can see, I have bought a whole wardrobe for just about $100 as opposed to $500 approximately.
While you may save more than I have, you can see by using these 6 ways for stay at home mom to add to her retirement account can be done with your everyday or weekly shopping habits. Some stay at home moms may find lower results, but starting your own retirement account no matter how small it is will help you in your golden years.