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The Power of a Budget

Find Money to Save

When you're thinking about saving — or saving more — for retirement, here's a reliable way to get to that goal:

Create a Budget

A budget helps you control your money, rather than letting your money control you. It gives you the power to spend and save in the smartest ways possible. And when it comes to planning for retirement, a budget can help you see how much more you can comfortably save for the future.

A budget helps people who are:

  • New to the workplace
  • Settled in their careers
  • Careful about money
  • Laid-back about spending

How Creating a Budget Helped Me...

I uncovered all of these 'ghost payments,' charges for things I no longer used. I got rid of them and it felt like I found extra money.

~Sara, 38

A budget makes me think twice about buying more stuff. I'm putting aside money for a big trip, so saving money is always on my mind.

~Marie, 55

A friend sends out a tweet whenever his retirement plan goes up by $5,000. It's his way of reminding the rest of us to start saving.

~William, 42

I've been focused on paying off my student loans. After creating a budget, I realized I could afford to do that and save for retirement.

~Tyler, 27

There's an App for That

It's never been easier to create a budget. Taking this step will tell you exactly how much you can spend now and how much you can save for the future.

No matter what method you choose, it comes down to tracking what you earn, what you owe and what you spend. When you keep track, it's easier to stay focused on your goals — such as retirement savings — and cut down on impulse buying.

  1. Keep it simple. Track your income and spending in a notebook.
  2. Get digital. Create a computer spreadsheet to track your spending.
  3. Download an app. Budgeting apps are convenient and often free. They can help you spend and save wisely, pay your bills and invest your earnings.

You may be surprised at how much more you can save for retirement. Try one of these popular apps:1

Saving Mileposts

Age 30

Target Savings Goal:
​10-15% each paycheck

Aim to Save:
1x annual salary

Age 45

Target Savings Goal:
​15%-20% each paycheck

Aim to Save:
3.5x annual salary

Age 60

Target Savings Goal:
​20% each paycheck

Aim to Save:
7x annual salary

Enroll or Increase — Do It Today!

Your employer makes it easy for you to save for retirement. Your company's retirement plan lets you:

  • Optimize the company match
  • Enjoy the freedom to choose investments
  • Increase your contribution any time you like
  • Enjoy tax savings and the ease of automatic saving


Show me how to enroll

Content Topics

More About Saving for Retirement

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You’re balancing a range of financial priorities. Planning for retirement should be high on the list. To help you focus, we’ve listed a few common obstacles faced by many people in your age group. You’ll also find some basic actions you can take to start — or stay — on the road to saving.
How much will you need in retirement? When you retire, you should generally plan on replacing about 80 percent or more of your pre-retirement income. Are you on track?
Before taking a loan from your retirement plan consider this: It may seem like a fast and easy way to access your account money, but is it really a good idea? Before you decide, take a moment to consider some of the risks and potential pitfalls.
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