Looking for tricky ways to boost your retirement savings
June 30, 2022
We’re living through some very weird times. First we get a pandemic that keeps many of us from working for an extended period of time, and the rest of us with nothing to spend our money on. Now we’re facing crazy inflation that is making even routine purchases very expensive.
Are there any tricky ways to put away a few bucks for retirement out there? Save with SPP decided to seek out a few new tricks – ideally ones we haven’t covered off before.
A GoBankingRates article posted on Yahoo! offers up 42 savings tricks.
One is to watch the fees in your retirement savings accounts, the article suggests. Here in Canada, this would be in registered retirement savings plans – RRSPs – or Tax-Free Savings Accounts, TFSAs. Do you have mutual funds that charge a high fee, say two per cent or even more? Maybe you can switch to a lower-fee exchange traded fund (ETF). Other ideas include renting out a spare room or an unused garage for extra savings cash, “shopping around” for the best possible insurance rate, and the idea of “putting every tax refund into savings.”
“It’s tempting to use the extra money from your tax refund on a new toy or vacation,” the article states. “But these spurts of cash provide the perfect opportunities to give your retirement savings a big boost.”
The My Money Coach blog has some great ideas, including freeing up money for savings by paying attention to your pre-retirement cash flow.
“A very important key to saving for retirement in Canada – that many have lost sight of – is to earn more than you spend,” the blog explains.
If you are following a budget and still have little room for savings, the blog continues, “the next thing to do is to up your income. You can ask for a raise at work, or you can apply for a job that offers a higher pay and better benefits. You can also pick up extra shifts or take on a second job during the weekends or evenings, if your schedule allows it.”
Other ideas to boost cash flow (and create more savings) are “a side business or freelancing,” the blog notes. “Capitalize on one of your passions and see where it takes you.”
From the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) site comes a little bit of savings psychology advice. “Try this little trick to motivate yourself,” the site suggests. Simply change the name of your savings solution. Seeing “My world trip,” “Better living” or “Playa del Carmen 2030” every time you log into… e-banking or (a) mobile banking app will remind you of your big dream, and give your motivation a boost,” states Daniel Bregenzer of UBS.
Other tips from UBS include making it “harder” to access your savings account so the temptation to spend it is lessened, “like keeping a box of chocolates out of sight,” and making savings an automatic habit.
Save with SPP can add a couple more. First, if you get a cash gift card – say it’s issued as a rebate on a purchase of tires, or contact lenses, or whatever – did you know that you can use that gift card to make contributions to your Saskatchewan Pension Plan account? SPP allows you to make credit card contributions, and we have used gift cards quite a few times over the years. Here’s the page where credit card contributions can be made.
And, if you have a cashback card, what better place for the cash than your retirement savings plan – just set up SPP as a bill payment on your bank website or app, and when the cash is deposited, contribute it.
Whatever way you can wring a few extra bucks out of your living costs will work, and your future self will greatly enjoy the work your current self has put in!
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Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.