Saving amid the rising cost of living and economic uncertainties poses a major challenge for many Vancouver residents. The recent increase in interest rates translates to a higher cost of debt for the average Canadian. This means that the interest payments on debt, such as a mortgage or bank loan, may become more costly and leave you with less disposable income.
Coupled with higher inflation rates, hiked housing prices, and lagging wages, the question becomes, is it possible to afford a decent livelihood in the present and still save for the future?
The financial decisions you make in the present can impact how you fund your lifestyle when you retire. Despite the unending bills and expenses, it is essential that you save and invest for the future.
Not to worry, here are a few ways you can enjoy living in the present while saving for the future at the same time.
Consider a side hustle
All things being equal, the more money you make, the higher your chances of having spare cash to save.
One great way to make extra cash is to find something you are skilled at and enjoy doing outside of your regular job. When you find that one thing, you can offer your skills and services in-person or online for a fee.
Having a side hustle that allows you to do what you love is a win-win. Imagine earning an extra $100 for offering graphic design services online or for pet sitting in your neighbourhood —that’s extra money you can save or spend on a nice dinner outing.
Budget for your expenses
Numbers are boring, and we can all agree on that. However, being in control of your finances helps you know where your money goes. When you get better at managing money, you can cut down on unnecessary expenses— those things you don’t really need.
Budgeting for your expenses does not prevent you from enjoying life. Instead, it helps you plan for your money and create a spending balance. With a budget, you can allocate a percentage of your income to saving for the future and another portion to doing something you love, such as having a fun day out with friends.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, have a flexible budget that allows you to set your priorities and adjust your saving goals as your financial situation changes.
Explore more affordable alternatives
Do you enjoy going out? Explore outdoor activities and outings that are pocket friendly. When it’s warm and beautiful outside, you can pack up a picnic basket and enjoy one of Vancouver’s numerous free parks with friends and family.
If you love to travel and explore new places, you can also consider domestic road trips and staycations that cost less. More affordable fun activities allow you to save and still enjoy some good time out. After all, you live only once, so live well.
Automate your savings
Life is busy. You may forget to set aside a part of your income for your savings and end up splurging all your income. Automate sending a portion of your income to a savings account to avoid doing that.
Think of saving as paying yourself first. When you receive your income, save up a determined amount or percentage and spend whatever is left on your needs and wants.
Indeed, you live only once. However, as you enjoy a fun day out or a week-long vacation, it is essential to think about saving for the future. Making some extra money from side hustles can allow you to spend on things you love while also being able to save.
Making more money does not automatically set you on the right financial path. You need to spend responsibly and account for your expenses. Budgeting for your income and expenses enables you to channel your income to your needs and allocate a percentage for savings and investments.
Finally, enjoy cheaper fun alternatives; ride a bike, take leisure walks, use free library services and live fully in the present.