Save $30,000 by cutting back on your Double Double

Question: How Can I Find Money to Save for Retirement?

retirement-helpAnswer: One common reason people do not save money for retirement is that they feel that they do not have any extra money. There may be times in each person’s life when things are tight enough that this is true, but more often people are unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to really save for retirement. If you cannot save for retirement you need to change something in order to save.

You may need to tighten up your budget. If you look at your budget you should try to shave at least one hundred dollars off somewhere. You may simply cut out your cable bill or cut back on your entertainment expenses. If these things are too important you may cut back on your grocery budget or try to reduce the amount of other bills. Example: A reduction of one (1) medium Tim Horton’s (cheapest of the coffee houses) a workday day will put $8.50 into you RRSP a week or $442.00 per year. If you do that for 30 years you will have in excess of $30,000 in your RRSP.

If you do not see any areas that you can cut back on your expenses, then you may need to take on a second job. If you pick up an extra shift a week, you should have enough to begin saving for retirement. Be creative in the jobs that you look for. If you get a job at your gym, you can get your membership for free which frees up that money for retirement, while adding extra money to put towards retirement as well.

An easy way to increase your retirement savings is to automatically funnel your raises into your contributions. This will help you to save money, and it will not affect your lifestyle at all. If you receive a four percent raise each year, you will soon be saving the recommended eighteen percent of your income specifically for retirement.

The sacrifices you make now will prevent you from making bigger sacrifices when you are older. Think of the smaller sacrifices of eating out less often and skipping one movie a month and compare it to making the choice of which medicine you can afford to buy. This can be a motivating factor as well. As your parents retire, you may be able to see how their choices are affecting them now. It is important to start out saving for retirement as soon as possible. It helps create a habit, and it means you will need to give a smaller percentage of your income to retirement each month.

Retirement savings should be a priority, although it is one of the easiest things to push aside, since retirement seems so far away. By slightly modifying your current spending habits, you should be able to begin saving and still enjoy life. If you can make saving for retirement automatic, it will be easier to reach your goals.

This post is compliments of Barry Coleman, Desjardins Financial Security

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