Stay ahead of inflation with these tips on how to spend less

April 27, 2023

We’re living through an era where all the everyday things we spend money on cost a whole lot more than they did a year or two ago.

With that in mind, Save with SPP decided to do a little digging for some new (to us) ideas on how to keep more of your money in your purse or wallet.

The Asterisk blog offers up a few, including the idea of ditching your landline (if you haven’t already). “Paying… for a landline you barely use just doesn’t make sense,” the blog advises.

Other ideas include getting rid of traditional cable and making do with programming from an antenna on the roof, and/or the free streaming apps offered by major TV networks.

The blog also suggests you review your credit card statements each month to look for any subscriptions you can live without.

At the Millennial Money blog, we are urged to “stop paying for music” via streaming services. This is a good one. Here at home, we “ripped” all of our old CDs, stored them in the cloud, and used the Cloud Beats app to listen to them when in the car. You already paid for the CDs, so why not listen to them?

Another good idea from Millennial Money is to make use of your local public library.

“There’s really no reason to buy books or media on Amazon when you can just as easily visit your local library for a virtually unlimited selection of items,” the blog advises.

“The thing to remember about libraries is that you pay for them with your tax dollars. So, if you don’t frequent your local library, you’re literally flushing money down the drain,” the blog adds.

Our late father would like another of the cost-saving suggestions — “turn off the lights.” The blog notes that “people often lose a lot of money because they leave lights on around the house.” Check to see if this is true at your house!

The (Mostly) Simple Life blog offers up a few more.

A good one is to borrow, rather than buy or rent. “I’m sure that I could find a family member or friend to borrow from instead of purchasing something that’s just going to sit around most of the time,” the blog advises. “We’ve borrowed tools, suitcases, and extra bedding for guests instead of buying something we might only need once,” the blog adds.

Another nice idea is to shop with cash, rather than with debit or credit cards.

“If you have a hard time sticking to your budget, don’t bring more cash than you are supposed to spend,” the blog notes. “If you only have $50 to spend on groceries, bring $50 of cash into the store.” Boomers will recall that in the days before widespread credit card use, cash with truly the Monarch of Money — the main, and most common way to pay.

The My Money Coach blog has some great ideas as well.

The blog advises us to “give every dollar a job.” Huh?

This strategy involves finding “a home for every dollar in your budget so you’re not tempted to make thoughtless purchases by thinking `if I have the money sitting around, I’ll spend it,’” the blog explains.

“Start telling your money where to go once you deposit your paycheque: pay all of your bills first, then move the remainder to other accounts, such as a savings account or your retirement fund. By ensuring that every dollar has a home, you’ll be less likely to spend away your entire paycheque. To make things easier, you can set up an automatic transfer on payday to divvy up your paycheque into separate accounts, so you won’t be tempted to spend it,” the blog explains.

Other good advice from My Money Coach includes leaving credit cards at home when you go shopping, and the classics of having a budget and tracking spending.

We’ll add a couple that have worked for us over the years. Guaranteed investment certificates are basically a savings account that pays you interest, but can’t be accessed for a specified term, typically one to five years. Money that you can’t easily get at to spend tends to grow. It’s a piggy bank that can only be opened every few years.

Shopping at thrift stores is another great way to have fun hunting for treasure while saving money. It’s amazing what you can find, and you are usually paying a few bucks instead of $50 or $100. We brag to our friends at the golf course, especially after sinking a long putt, that our vintage putter cost $3 at Value Village.

The Saskatchewan Pension Plan makes it easy for you to automate the building of your retirement nest egg. SPP allows you to make pre-authorized contributions (PACs) to your account. Through PACs, you can have money directed to your SPP account every payday, so that you’re literally paying your future self first! Check out SPP today!

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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.


May 9, 2022

Canada’s workforce greys as boomers hit the road to retirement

The Canadian workforce is “older than it has ever been,” reports the CBC, citing information from the latest national census.

“More than one in five working adults is now nearing retirement, says Statistics Canada — a demographic shift that will create significant challenges for the Canadian workforce in the coming decade,” reports the network.

There are more people aged 55 to 64 in the workforce than those aged 15 to 24 entering it, the article notes.

And that’s a big change.

“In 1966, there were 200 people aged 15 to 24 for every 100 Canadians aged 55 to 64, but that has now been flipped on its head. In 2021, there were only 81 people aged 15 to 24 for every 100 Canadians in the 55 to 64 age group,” the CBC report continues.

Boomers, the report explains, began retiring around 2011. The fact that so many of us are boomers – retiring ones at that – is “the single most important driver of Canada’s aging population trend,” the CBC notes.

It’s expected that the number of folks aged 85 and over will triple by 2051, with one quarter of the population being over 65 by that date.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, Canada’s fertility rate hit an “an all-time low of 1.4 children per woman,” the CBC report adds, citing Statistics Canada data. There are six million young people under 15 in the country compared to seven million of us who are 65 and older.

This greying trend raises a number of concerns.

First, the article says, the traditional “transfer of knowledge” from older workers to younger ones won’t be easy to achieve if there is a shortfall of young folks entering the workforce.

Next – a question not posed in the article – we have to wonder if this grey wave of retirees will have sufficient retirement savings. The Canada Pension Plan, for example, uses CPP contributions from working Canadians to help pay the pensions of retirees, so a change in the ratio of working to retired Canadians could have consequences on that program. (The CPP Investment Board has set aside a massive contingency fund to deal with this exact problem, so that’s reassuring.)

Third, a point raised in the CBC video that links to the article, is the cost to society of looking after all those older folks, particularly as they hit their 80s and beyond. We may see a need for more long-term care spaces or a more determined effort to boost homecare – and both things will carry a future cost.

Younger folks may find that better jobs become more widely available, which is a silver lining to the issue.

Retirement can last many decades and carries a hefty price tag. If you have access to a workplace pension plan or retirement program, be sure you are signed up and contributing the most that you can. If you don’t have a workplace program, the saving responsibility is on your shoulders. Joining the Saskatchewan Pension Plan is a great option. Let the experts at SPP navigate the tricky waters of investment; they’ll grow your nest egg and when the day comes that work is an afterthought, SPP can turn your savings into steady retirement income. Check out SPP today!

Join the Wealthcare Revolution – follow SPP on Facebook!

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.