Five ways to stop living paycheque to paycheque

The Bank of Canada recently announced another interest rate hike. While an overall indicator of a healthy economy, this news is worrisome for many.

A survey released just last week indicated that with interest rates rising, one-third of Canadians were at risk of being unable to make ends meet. As the interest we pay on mortgages, lines of credit, and other debt increases, we need to find other ways to cut back on spending. Or increase your income. Here are our top tips for negotiating your salary.

The challenge is knowing how to save – or what to cut. Fortunately, the team at Principal Financial Group recently studied the habits of people who managed to save large amounts of money – without big incomes. How they choose to spend – and not spend – their money is revealing.

They surveyed the financial habits of Millennials and Generation Xers to determine what the most well-off of them were willing to sacrifice right now to maximize their savings for the future.

Principal Financial Group identified a subcategory of people whom they labelled to be the “super-savers.” Those are the ones who contribute the maximum to their retirement plans annually.

So, how do they do it? What’s the secret to having money left over and putting it in the bank? They live modestly. They tend to drive older cars, live in smaller homes or rent apartments, and prioritize hard work and long hours over time off.

Five ways people with money in the bank manage to build their wealth

Don’t drive a new car. Nearly half (47 percent) of super-savers say that they drive an older vehicle so that they can cut payments and increase savings.

Live in a modest home. Once again, almost half of the super-savers (45 percent) say that they choose to live in a more modest home or (especially for Millennials) rent a place instead of buying right now so that they can save more money for later.

Take fewer vacations. Super-savers say that they don’t travel as much as they actually want to so that they can work more and save money.

Work hard. Forty percent of the most financially well-off group surveyed said that they put up with high levels of work-related stress because it is worth the money they are making and saving. Stress is less stressful when you’re building security for the future.

Work longer hours. More than a quarter of super-savers (27 percent of them) say they work extra long hours, even sacrificing time with friends and family so that they can earn more money.

“These ‘super savers’ are incredibly driven. We see them making sacrifices to achieve their goals, and sometimes that includes delaying milestones until they feel financially secure,” said Jerry Patterson, senior vice president of retirement and income solutions at Principal. “Whether it’s driving an older vehicle or working extra hours, these individuals have said ‘my future is important, and I’m going to save to make it great.’”

Here are a couple of other small sacrifices you could consider making in order to save a bit of money as things get more expensive.

Brown bagging your lunch. Buying lunch at work easily costs $10, and it can run up much higher than that. Even if you keep it to $10, you would still be spending roughly $200 a month. That’s $2,400 a year that you could put in the bank rather than going to soup and sandwiches.

Make your own coffee. I know. We all love our Tims or getting a takeout cup from the trendiest coffeehouse on the way to work. But is the expense worth it? You can brew up a pot of coffee just how you like it at home and bring it with you in a travel mug for an entire week for about the cost of a single cup from a coffee shop.

Want to absorb the rising interest rates and cost of living, and maybe stop living paycheque to paycheque? The secret from those people who’ve managed to build up wealth seems to be the willingness to make sacrifices on some things they might want right now in order to put more money away for tomorrow. They aren’t afraid of hard work and long hours, and they cut back on expenses wherever they can.

The full report on the small sacrifices made by ‘super-savers’ is available here.

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