1. Don’t put money into a RRSP.
Hey, you’ve got better things to do with $20 a week, right? Who cares that $1,000 a year for 30 years at 6% adds up to almost $80,000. And so what if $100 a week would get you almost $400,000 come retirement time. There are coffees to be bought, magazines to be read, and nights out on the town to be had. Besides, the government has a great plan in place to take care of you when you’re old and gray. Failing that, you can always move in with the kids.
2. Pass on the Canada Education Savings Grant.
Some people make a big deal about the fact that if you put money into a Registered Education Savings Plan for your child’s future education the government gives you money to help. A $2,500 contribution to a plan for Little Susie means the Feds will add $500; that’s an immediate 20% return. Hey, Little Susie can get student loans to get through school just like you did. So what if it’s 12 years later and you’re still paying through the nose. What’s good enough for you is good enough for Susie.
3. Be content earning a pittance on your savings account. Yah, you know that there are legitimate banks out there willing to pay you four or five times what you’re currently earning. But, hey, interest rates are so low it barely makes a difference. And moving your account is such a pain in the arse. Besides, you’ve been dealing with The Big Bank all your life. The fabulous service they give you is more than worth the pathetic interest you earn and the huge fees you pay. Aren’t all banks the same anyway?
4. Stick with your monthly mortgage payment.
Who cares that saving money on mortgage interest is as easy as choosing to make accelerated payments on your mortgage. That can’t be right anyway… it’s just another of those fancy marketing tricks. After all, how can paying weekly instead of monthly mean the equivalent of one extra monthly payment? Sure, they say that could save four year’s worth of interest! But that can’t actually be true, can it?
5. Stick with your low deductible on your car insurance.
If you have an accident, you don’t want to have to shell out more than $100 or $250 to get the car fixed. You just don’t have that kind of money lying around. So it costs a little more for a lower deductible, so what? You know that when you do end up having an accident, you’ll be covered. And the fact that you paid $350 a year more for your insurance will be worth it. After all, you have an accident every five years or so anyway, right? … Wait a minute; is that really $1,750 in extra insurance premiums?
6. Don’t bother using the new Tax-Free Savings Account. You earn so little interest on your stupid bank account that the last thing you’re worried about is the tax you’ll have to pay. Never mind that $5000 a year for 20 years earning just 4% means just less than $150,000 in tax-free money — $16,000 more than you’d have if you were paying tax at a marginal tax rate of 31%. It’s just another ploy to stop you from spending your hard earned money on all the toys your neighbours have.
7. Carry a balance on your credit card.
Everyone carries a balance on their cards, what’s the big deal? You’re making your minimum payment. That’s good enough for your credit score. Who cares if it takes 10 years to pay for the barbecue you just put on your card? So, the barbecue will cost a little more, but you got a great deal on it so it’ll all come out in the wash.
8. Change your car every year or two.
Hey, you work hard and you deserve to drive a nice car. So what if you could save 40% buying used. You’re not driving someone else’s leftovers. You like the new car smell. And you’re making enough to handle the payments, so what’s the big deal?
9. Don’t sign up for your employer’s savings matching program at work. Sure they’re willing to match your retirement savings contributions up to 3% a year. And, sure, that’s like getting a raise. But you shouldn’t have to cut back on your spending to get that extra money. Hey, you slave away at your job and you’re not about to give up the $125 a month specialty channel package to get a pathetic extra $1200 a year from your employer. TV helps you to relax.