We all want to know money saving secrets and this past week I learned something from a witty senior that will help you save money, although it may not come as a huge surprise to you.
Do you feel stress coming on when you have to dip into your savings?
We do at times because we aren’t getting any younger and know that life as a senior citizen can be difficult especially if you don’t have the funds to back up the lifestyle you need or want to live.
There are people who are happy living from the Canada Pension Plan which is by the way max $1065.00 (2015) a month at age 65 but will it really be enough?
Jim Yih at Retire Happy says, “Don’t count on the maximum” either when he talks about how much CPP will pay us in retirement.
You would think with $120,000 savings that we have in the bank that it would be easy to spend money but it’s not especially after you know it may decrease your overall net worth and set you back a bit from attaining your retirement goals.
This is why we budget and having spending categories so we don’t feel the strain of spending money when we know there are so many other categories that could use the cash. The budget really has saved our sanity.
Money is one of the hardest things to save in life. I can save rocks, cookbooks, tools you name it, but money that is tricky for all of us and not many people can master it.
Buying a house was the easy part because you know how much it will cost so you are able to save for the down-payment and away you go. When it comes to retirement we have no idea how much money we will need in the future.
I’ve used retirement calculators before but to be truthful I don’t care for them.
It’s almost as bad as saying I believe in the tooth fairy but we all know she’s not real yet there always seems to be money left under a pillow in exchange for a tooth that has fallen out when we are children.
We are lead to understand from a young age that money will appear if we just believe and are being good. Too bad that might only work when we are kids and not when we are faced with real world issues like debt.
Our retirement funds took a bit of a dip this past month because projections in the market didn’t go as planned which is that risk we all take with our money and a couple of our funds are under-performing which we are in the process of changing since we are medium risk investors.
All these ups and downs can really make a saver go a bit bananas with the way they save money because they don’t know how long they will live and if they are saving enough.
It’s easy to see what a life of poverty may be like through media or even personal experiences but unless you’ve lived it, you don’t know. It’s a life that no one wants to be a part of and some people make it their financial duty to save enough cash to be taken care of until they are gone from this earth.
Senior dishes out advice
While at swimming lessons with our son yesterday I spoke with a woman who was waiting for her senior mother who is 90 years old and still living at home. She told me that apart from some hearing loss she is perfectly fine at home with her senior husband.
Her husband who is 95 and happy-go-lucky has had zero health issues said that if they had to go into a seniors home they would have to sell just about everything they owned to afford to pay for the life they hope to live in a retirement villa. They don’t expect much but they want the best care they can get until their lives are over.
This way, living at home they are staying put and the money they aren’t spending will get passed down in their final will. Not all seniors are lucky enough to live at home into their 90’s and beyond like this couple without assistance. Since they have no bills apart from monthly bills they can save money from not having to pay nurses and cooks to look after them for the time being.
I was amazed at how well this senior couple operated as a team but they told me it has always been a struggle to save money. Over the years they managed to save some money but never dreamed they would live as long as they have. He says, “We could live until we are 108 and then what will happen?”
I asked him if he had any tricks to save money that he wanted to share and you know what he told me, “Stop spending it”. Who knew that those three words would be such a powerful message, but they are. There is no better advice but the most obvious that many of us tend to miss. We become desperate for the dream but it’s right before our very eyes.
Going swimming in the afternoon there are senior swimming sessions so it’s great to have these conversations because it puts things into perspective for us.
Spending money fears
Since Mrs. CBB and I both are debt free at times we struggle when it comes to spending money like I was mentioning above.
For us it’s now all about our son and retirement since we’ve paid off the mortgage and that can be scary at times because of what that senior couple may face if the need to go into a home. It could wipe them out financially because of the lack of savings and relying on their home a retirement cheque.
We don’t want to rely on anyone nor do we want our son to feel he has to take care of us financially. It should never be that way.
I often find it amazing how some people can feel so content with their retirement savings but we always have that doubt in our minds or the what ifs?
Not all money that we spend is increasing our net worth such as spending money to improve the house because there is no guarantee of return with renovations just assumed return from selling trends. Sometimes it feels like it’s money that is wasted like fixing a laptop for a few hundred dollars or getting the vehicle cleaned after winter for $120 or buying something for one-time use. It’s not really but it just seems that way. The little things sure do add up.
Once we save money it’s hard to let it go because we’ve worked SO hard to save it that giving it away is a huge no-no for us unless it’s necessary or part of the budget.
Then you have people who think nothing of paying their bills and blowing what’s left on whatever they need or want. It sounds like a plan but what happens when the time comes and they need money for one reason or another? I’ll tell you, they don’t have it or they are short.
Friends of ours are considering downsizing so they can pay for their daughter’s education. They don’t want her to graduate in debt. The RESP was not something they contributed to as their kids are already on their way to University so they help out as much as they can.
Just recently they told me that they want to move and downsize their moderate sized family home for something comparable or smaller but for less money in the same area. The problem is that the houses in our area are VERY expensive and if a house lists it’s not on the market very long. They have retirement savings but they did not save money for what they really want to do and that is help their kids get ahead of the money game and retire.
It was what she said to me that made me think about how we save money and how we spend money. She told me that she doesn’t want to cash in their retirement savings to help him graduate University without OSAP debt even though he can apply for it.
Mrs. CBB and I were talking about buying a bigger house down the road but that might mean acquiring a new mortgage to cover the extra expenses or the other option is that we save money so we don’t have to worry about a new mortgage. We want our son to graduate without debt too but we certainly wouldn’t cash in the biggest investment of our lives just to help our child through school.
Her daughter works and should be saving all of her money for school that way she can fund her own education or have minimal help from the parents.
We are the couple who love to save money but when it comes to spending money it really can take its toll on us because we want to make sure we are making the right decisions like the senior couple above so we aren’t left without options when the time comes we need them.
Why is money so hard to deal with sometimes?
It’s so hard for us to spend money because we don’t know what the future will hold. We aren’t cheapo either just frugal shoppers but we save money because we invest the time in our finances and want to make sure we aren’t spending more than we earn.
Having to spend money from our savings accounts can be downright depressing at times because we are so focused on building our net worth not slowing the process by taking money we saved and spending it. Some people may argue that we are young and have plenty of time to save before we hit senior status but then I say, how do you know?
You don’t know how long we will live? You don’t know how much it will cost to live? You don’t know anything until you walk that stretch of life. Until then we will continue to save money but take into consideration how to save money and spend it so we aren’t compromising our future.
Do you find it a struggle to spend money when you save money in your bank account or do you just spend it and move on?
Our net worth 2015
RESP Contribution 2015: $208.33 a month.
This last month has been a quiet month with nothing out of the ordinary happening. We are however getting ready to up some of our investments and maximize our contributions. The income taxes have been filed and we are waiting for our cheque in the post which will be put towards our investments.
Due to my rise in income I will have to start using my RRSP contribution room to offset the amount of tax I have to pay by increasing my RRSP contributions.
A minor drop in a couple of our investments gave us a $1,000 loss some of which was due to the falling pound against the dollar. An otherwise good month of income balanced out the net worth for this month.
Understanding net worth
What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?
Net Worth is a snap shot of your financial health sort of like a picture or debt to net assets. In simple terms it’s a total of the value of your assets minus your liabilities.
We credit the growth of our net worth due to patience, perseverance, using a monthly budget and not giving up. Your numbers may go up and down but don’t let the numbers scare you rather understand why and move on.
If you would like to use our budget I offer a FREE downloadable budget which I created and that you can use at home just like we do. I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money not spend more!
There are tonnes of other free printable lists offered at Canadian Budget Binder to help you achieve some of those financial goals and build your net worth.
Now… what you need to do is determine just how much net worth you actually have and go from there….
Determining net worth
Figuring out net worth is fairly easy as long as you know your personal numbers or monthly finances which means you need to do your homework. Net Worth is simply adding up all your assets (what you own) then taking away your liabilities (what you owe) which will give you a net worth number.
Understanding your net worth will help you determine if you are on track to meeting or beating your personal financial goals. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Calculate net worth
Do you know how to calculate your own Net Worth?
Now you can stop asking yourself the question, how do you find out your net worth? Why? It’s easy to determine. We like to calculate our net worth every month so we know if we are still on track. Some people calculate it yearly or quarterly. It’s really up to you and how informed you want to stay when it comes to your financial health.
Net Worth is essentially an estimate and not everyone uses the same type of figures. Some people don’t include vehicles like we do or they may leave out the assets inside the home like we have. It depends on what you want to calculate or what you can sell today and make money on.
Why not go ahead and calculate your own using our Free Money saving Tool Net worth Calculator (Canadian Budget Binder 2012)
Why you should set goals
Setting goals are the only way we work towards achieving what we want to get done as a couple around the house and in our financial life. I know that without them we would be flying by the seat of our pants which wouldn’t work for us.
I find it’s much easier to be held accountable when I share what we need to do with all of you. Yes, my wife refers to the list when she asks what I plan to do next. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing for me or not.
In the graphical representation below, I have used excel to provide a prediction based on the past years monthly net worth figures.
Using figures from our actual net worth gains over the past 12 months (the red line) it has suggested that by the end of this year we should be at approximately $700,000.00.
This is nice to know but anything can happen over the next year. Hopefully with some careful planning we can achieve this goal and go beyond it.
Do you set goals for the year?
Our financial numbers
When budgeting anything is possible, we are proof of that although we still have a long way to go in our journey. These are our numbers and our goals, not a means of comparison towards your own goals to others target goals.
We don’t care how much money others make or if they have a high net worth or if it is lower than ours as it’s not a competition. I hope our experiences perhaps will help guide you along your financial path working towards debt freedom.
We all have different financial paths
Not everyone has the same path in life. Some of you may have had to start over like I did or go to school a second time and now have OSAP loans to pay back.
Others may have divorced, lost money in the stock market or other investments, suffered job loss, fell ill or was injured on the job etc. but you can’t let that stop you from achieving your financial goals.
Some of you may have been given trust funds, paid-for homes, paid educations or perks in life that give you a financial kick-start and that’s OK too. Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save it”.
Focus on you and don’t let the evil eye of money jealousy or keeping up with the Joneses cloud your vision. No one cares about your money as much as you do so don’t waste your energy trying.
The only reason people accumulate wealth is because they know how to save or invest it wisely even if they did inherit money or win the lottery. The smallest improvements should mean big strides in working towards reaching your goals.
Sometimes we have to fail in order to learn and we’ve all been there. Money can be an evil force for some people especially those who have a negative attitude towards their own financial situation.
I urge you to be optimistic and little by little with determination you too should see improvements, if you want that to happen.
Net worth updates 2015
Below you can click the links to read past 2015 net worth updates to see if we were on target or if we struggled with some of our numbers.
Since we are just starting off the 2015 year this is the first net worth update for the year I will start below with the end report for 2014 for those of you that missed it.
In the last year since March 2014 our net worth according to our figures has grown $96,325.09
April 2015 $674,809.77 – April 2014 $578,484.68 = +$96,325.09
That’s all for this month’s net worth update but please check in at the beginning of June 2015 to see how we made out in May 2015 and what has happened to our finances since.
Do you track your net worth? Share your net worth updates with CBB! You don’t have to give your name just a bit about yourself and what you are worth.
Remember: “It’s Not About How Much Money You Make It’s How You Save It“