Whether you’re just starting out on your own, building your nest and populating it, or gearing down for the golden years, there’s one constant you can rely on. There’s always room for more money.
So how to save? The lady of this house has developed what she calls her Rules of Acquisition, which she thinks of before buying anything. Before paying full retail price, she asks – “can I get it on sale?” Better, she wonders, “can I get it used?” And finally, “can I get it free?” There’s no shame and much to be saved by checking out yard sales and thrift shops, she advises.
Here are some more suggestions from a quick search of the Internet:
The U.K. based Mumsnet site had a great discussion on the topic. The three most common ideas were shopping for sale items, reviewing insurance (home and auto) and looking for cheaper options, and avoiding restaurant meals – “packed lunches every day,” one poster advises. You can see the full website here.
Closer to home, the My Money Coach blog suggests collecting your change and depositing it in savings account, and thinking of savings more like we think of bills – putting a set amount aside each month. The blog offers helpful steps on this second point, the “pay yourself first” approach that can be automated, and concludes with discussion of the importance of a written spending plan. Here’s where you can have a look at the rest of the blog.
The Huffington Post agrees on the idea of less restaurant eating, and adds putting a nix on daily coffee shop indulgences and online shopping. Their post is here.
Our good friend Steve Martyn’s one-page financial plan focused on knowing how much you are making, and how much is going out. If you spend less than you make, you are winning the battle. Steve also advises paying very close attention to hidden fees.
Our late Uncle Joe advised us all to live on 90 per cent of earnings. “You will never have any problems in life if you do that,” he said.
Sifting through all this advice, three themes emerge:
- You need to be aware of how much you are spending, versus how much you make – a plan
- There’s usually a way to get things you want for less than full retail price – be a patient shopper
- Just as you plan your spending, plan to save; pay yourself first
You can make good use of the savings. A great destination for retirement savings is the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. If you’re a member, direct some of your savings there – and if you want to sign up, visit their site today.
|Written by Martin Biefer
|Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. After a 35-year career as a reporter, editor and pension communicator, Martin is enjoying life as a freelance writer. He’s a mediocre golfer, hopeful darts player and beginner line dancer who enjoys classic rock and sports, especially football. He and his wife Laura live with their Sheltie, Duncan, and their cat, Toobins. You can follow him on Twitter – his handle is @AveryKerr22|