6) Save Smarter
This one is a no brainer, but it will help you make some hard and fast rules when it comes to saving. Aiming to save a small portion of your paycheck isn’t going to cut it, either. While tightening your belt and living below your means (see above) is critical, so are your saving habits. For example, it’s tempting to spend tax returns or work bonuses on spontaneous vacations or some frivolous item you’ve always wanted. After all, it feels like you’re getting “free money” since it isn’t part of your normal income. Resist the temptation to do this! Make it an unbendable rule that any money like this goes straight into your retirement fund. You can live without this money (because you’ve been doing so all along). Bottom Line: A big chunk of money like this will make a bigger difference in your early retirement scheme than regular monthly savings.
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