You'll need to go into retirement with a solid nest egg if you don't want to deal with financial worries during your senior years. But for some women, saving for retirement can be a major struggle.

It's hardly a secret that women tend to earn less money than their similarly qualified male counterparts. As such, it's harder for them to find the money to contribute to an IRA or 401(k) plan.

In fact, recent data from T. Rowe Price points to the fact that women tend to contribute 43% less to their long-term savings than men. Not surprisingly, women are also less confident about their retirement prospects.

A person at a laptop.

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The truth, though, is that managing your money wisely during your working years could be your ticket to enjoying your senior years and avoiding financial stress. As such, you might end up kicking yourself if you don't make these key changes to your spending while you're still working.

1. Following an actual budget

The idea of having to set up and follow a budget can be daunting or even downright unappealing. But if you don't create and stick to a budget, you might struggle to put money into a retirement savings plan -- and that could mean depending more on Social Security when you're a senior. That's a problem, seeing as how benefit cuts are a distinct possibility.

You may find that setting up a budget takes you an hour or less and that checking in on it monthly isn't very time-consuming, either. But following that budget might make it easier to keep pumping money into your long-term savings, which is what you need to do to get ready for retirement.

2. Paying in cash rather than using credit cards

The upside of using credit cards is getting to rack up rewards for the things you buy. But relying too heavily on credit cards could land you in debt. And at that point, you risk spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on interest when that's money that could be going into your IRA or 401(k) plan, instead.

If you're going to use credit cards, make sure to only charge expenses you can pay off in full. And if you're not so confident in your ability to manage your credit card usage, give up those reward points and just stick to cash.

3. Cooking rather than ordering food all the time

When you're busy juggling a career, a busy household, and life's many obligations, finding time to cook meals can be a challenge. And if you don't particularly like to cook, you may be even more motivated to simply fall back on takeout. It's a mistake a lot of people make, but it often comes back to bite them.

The cost of takeout can easily be three times the cost of preparing food at home. And the less you spend on meals, the more money you'll have available for your IRA or 401(k). So pledge to keep takeout meals to a minimum and, instead, maintain a list of easy recipes that don't require a lot of time or effort.

You deserve to enjoy your retirement to the absolute fullest. Make sure to address these spending changes well ahead of that milestone so you're able to kick off your senior years with plenty of money in savings.