Ways to Set Aside Money
Saving is painful. That's one of the reasons 401(k) plans are so popular with employees at conventional businesses. Contributions to the plan are deducted directly from each paycheck so the employee doesn't have the extra trouble of remembering to make a contribution. And best of all, she doesn't miss the money, because she never knew she had it.
As a self-employed person, you probably don't have the luxury of a steady paycheck or an accounting department to "secretly" deduct your retirement contributions. Instead, you need to trick yourself into saving for the future. The best way is to set up an automatic monthly contribution through the bank or broker that manages your retirement account. You can have a fixed amount drawn from a checking or savings account and try really hard not to miss it each month.
If you have an SEP IRA, you don't have to contribute until April 15 for the prior tax year. A safe way to save would be to automatically transfer money out of your checking account into a savings account each month. At the end of the year, you can decide how much of those savings you want to contribute to the SEP IRA and how much you want to reinvest in the business.