Little things make big difference in savings plan

You know what it’s like. Two weeks ago lunch cost about $9 a day. Last week it was $10 and this week $11. These days, spending generally rises very stealthily and those small price increases can have an increasing effect on your long–term savings goals.

You know what it’s like. Two weeks ago lunch cost about $9 a day. Last week it was $10 and this week $11. These days, spending generally rises very stealthily and those small price increases can have an increasing effect on your long–term savings goals.

With that thought in mind, if you were to brown bag your lunch every day for a year instead of buying it, you could save upwards of $2,000 a year (based on a $10 lunch purchase made five days a week). Go a step further and add in the extra you spend opting for the more expensive wine in the liquor store, or the cost of upgrades on your new car, or buying the leather jacket instead of the parka that are on sale – you’re talking thousands of dollars.

“Enjoying some of the finer things in life is the reward for working hard, but for many of us, sometimes today’s ‘wants’ get in the way of tomorrow’s retirement savings needs,” says Carol Bezaire, vice–president of tax and estate planning, Mackenzie Investments. “This is what we’re calling the Big Difference: the many small things you can do today to provide a bigger amount more for your savings.”

Mackenzie Investments offers the following tips to help Canadians save big on their purchases:

Automobiles

• Research your purchases. Find out what the dealer paid for your desired vehicle and compare it with the sticker price before negotiating a fair deal.

• Options and extended warranties: These can add 10 to 20% to your cost. Again, research them in advance so you know exactly what you want.

• Consider lightly used instead of new. Yes, new cars have a special feeling. But it lasts about two months and then your car has road salt on its fenders and crumbs on the floor.

Homes

• Thinking of purchasing a home? Arrange for a pre–approved mortgage to avoid over–spending on a home you can’t afford.

• A pre–approved mortgage will also help you negotiate your purchase with confidence, because you’ve got a budget in mind.

• If you’re a first–time buyer, consider dipping into your RRSP pool to borrow up to $20,000, or $40,000 for a couple, through the Home Buyers’ Plan. The withdrawal is tax free and you have up to 15 years to deposit the full amount back into your RRSP.

Visit mackenziefinancial.com for more tips on smart spending choices.

– News Canada