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Study: Saving money is "too hard"

I found an article on CBC.ca today, which basically talks about a TD Canada Trust study that suggests 80% of Canadians found saving money “too hard” and that young people between 18-34 were more interested in saving for a house than for retirement.

Too hard, or too lazy???

They interviewed a 32-year-old from Vancouver who said that he hasn’t started saving yet for retirement, saying “I am too young to think about that,” and would rather save for a down payment instead (although he admitted he hadn’t started saving for that either).

Which makes me frustrated. What good is a house if you’re still paying for it when you’re 65? And what good is retirement if you’re barely scraping by?

It all boils down to a lack of discipline and priority. Isn’t this just what I was talking about the other day!? It’s unrealistic for people in my age group (mid/late 20’s) to save money for retirement (and for emergencies) AND go on expensive trips multiple times a year, buy a nice car and the latest gadgets, and party every night. Unless you’re rich. But even then, I think the people who complain that it’s “too hard” would complain even if they were making 6 figures.

If you’re in your mid/late 20’s and can’t save money and/or don’t have any savings, there’s a problem (unless you’re getting out of debt, but even then, you should still be putting away some money in an Emergency Fund and Retirement). Don’t buy an iPod. Don’t buy an expensive car. Don’t go out to eat every day. Don’t go on those expensive trips. Don’t move into a more expensive apartment. Even if your friends are doing it, just don’t. BECAUSE YOU OBVIOUSLY CAN’T AFFORD IT.

If you have an expensive hobby, then budget for it. It might mean giving up having a new car (and driving a used one), or not going out to eat as much, or not going on that trip. But you can’t do everything you want to do. That’s just not how life works. You have to make some sacrifices now in order to live the life you want to live in the future. A sad, but true reality.

Saving should be priority #1. Pay yourself first. Then do whatever you want with the rest of your money. And once you get into the habit of paying yourself first, you won’t even think twice about putting money away into savings every pay period.

Not sure if you’re saving enough to live the life you want to live come retirement? Plug your numbers into an RRSP Calculator and check it out!

Seeing friends this week

Tomorrow I’m going out for lunch with a friend. She’s moving from Vancouver to Alberta. It’s sad – I really like her, and it was so fabulous when she finally moved to Vancouver from my hometown. But, BF> and I will be out in Alberta in January, so we’ll see each other then. I’m not sure where we’ll be going for lunch, but I’m going to budget about $15.

Then Wednesday evening, I’m going for a dinner and a movie with a few girls from my old job. I think I still have a free movie coupon (score!), but I’m going to have to find it first. I’m budgeting $15 for dinner.

I’m already over my monthly food budget, but since I’m not contributing to my Travel Fund as of right now, I have more money to play with for September. Starting in October, I’m going to re-start contributing to the Travel Fund. Whether I use it for travel, or for a down payment, or for whatever, I still need to keep up with my savings plan.

I want a new cell phone!

I have a great cell phone plan with Rogers Wireless, and I love the reception I get, and the customer service they provide. There are a lot of Rogers haterz out there, but I’m not one of them.

That being said, I’m always one for saving a buck or two, so I checked out Cell Plan Expert. It’s this awesome FREE website that saves you the hassle of researching and finding the plan that’s best for you, out of all the providers in the country. It’s pretty cool. It estimates the total monthly cost for each plan (including all those stupid fees) so you know exactly how much it will cost per month.

Well when I plugged in my numbers, the very best plan to suit my needs is still over $40, which is about $3-4 more than my monthly bills are right now. So I guess I’m on the best plan possible for me right now.

I bought my current phone just over 2 years ago, and now I’m itching to get a new one. Plus my current one doesn’t always work very well b/c it got damaged in the car crash. I don’t want to sign a 3-year contract, so I think I’ll either buy one at full price (not likely) or peruse Craigslist and eBay for used Rogers phones. I could also wait until a friend upgrades their phone, and then scoop their old phone for free or for very minimal cost. :)

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A beginner's guide for Canadians looking to get their financial life in order. Get great info on budgeting and saving, RRSP's and pensions, investing types, insurance, and where to go for additional resources.

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