Make saving money a lifelong habit

WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 2015 — Make a new year’s resolution to reach long term financial stability. Secure your quality of life for your retirement.

Social Security only covers part of your retirement, which is why the Department of Labor (DOL) recommends developing a savings plan. The resources below will help you plan for retirement.

Develop your savings plan

• Calculate your monthly expenses, such as housing payments, utilities, food, etc.

• Allocate part of your income toward a savings account; it doesn’t matter if the amount you put away varies every month.

• Eliminate unnecessary expenses that might affect your budget.

• Avoid debt. Try not to use your credit card, that way you won’t have to make monthly payments with interest.

Worksheets to start a savings plan

The DOL provides a series of worksheets to help you manage your finances for retirement. You will need to create an account to access your worksheets and any saved information. The worksheets are organized as follows:

1 Goals and Priorities. Write your short and long-term financial goals, such as travel expenses or saving for retirement, and set priorities to achieve them.

2 Financial Documents Checklist. Gather copies of documents you’ll need to create a retirement budget, including bank statements, student loan information and tax returns.

3 Balance Sheet to Calculate Net Worth. Calculate your assets, like property and investments, as well as your liabilities, which include mortgage and loan payments.

4 Retirement Saving. Figure out how much money you’ll need to save each year to reach your retirement goal.

5 Cash Flow Spending Plan. You’ll come up with a monthly and yearly budget, and then return to the worksheet at the end of the year to see the results.

6 Debt Reduction. Prioritize your debt and figure out how much you plan to pay.

To learn more about financial issues, see and, the U.S. Government’s official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).