Follow 5 rules to secure financial future

How would you like to be able to pay all your bills and still save enough money to retire comfortably? It’s not as difficult as you might think.

Regardless of your income, money experts believe most people can keep more of what they earn and still take care of their financial obligations if they follow five simple rules.

No. 1 and most importantly — save beyond your 401(k).Bob Smith, of Spero-Smith Investments in Cleveland, said his firm advises people to save the first 10 percent over and above the 401(k).”You have to save that through a payroll deduction as well, and put it into a savings account so that it can build up,” said Smith.

Rule no. 2 is to list all your monthly expenditures to determine what you can afford to spend. Smith says to look at what you spend your money on and determine if it really gives you satisfaction.

“As one of my friends says, ‘I don’t mind spending money, I just hate wasting it,'” said Smith.

Rule no. 3: Resist the temptation to spend unnecessarily.

“Whether it’s credit cards, whether it’s ATM machines, if they feel they’ve got money in their pocket or are able to buy things with their credit card, they can easily spend more than they really should,” said Smith.

Rule no. 4 is to keep in mind when buying gifts that it’s the thought that counts — don’t overspend.

And lastly, consider the cost of that daily cup of coffee or fast-food lunches — these expenses can add up.

“Three dollars a day on coffee is about $800 a year. If you eat out, assuming $10 a day, that can get to about $2,600, so that can really add up over a year’s time,” said Smith.