Have any? If not, the tips be­low will help you get some. Don’t kid your­self, it won’t be easy. The temp­ta­tion of hav­ing a lit­tle ex­tra cash on hand can be too much for many, caus­ing them to splurge on a fancy din­ner or a DJ turntable to im­press the kids.

National Post (Latest Edition) - Financial Post Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Cana­di­ans lie about their fi­nances — a lot. Here’s what we need to over­come to build the pot.

Cana­di­ans lie. A lot. Es­pe­cially about money. A BDO Canada Ltd. sur­vey found that more than half of us lie about our fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion, with 36% say­ing they do so be­cause they want to pro­tect their loved ones from wor­ry­ing. We lie about our credit cards and monthly ex­penses, how much we’re sav­ing for our chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion, whether we have enough for a va­ca­tion, en­ter­tain­ment ex­penses and, of course, our re­tire­ment plan. The big­gest liars? The mid­dle-aged. Al­most 55% of those aged be­tween 35 and 54 years old lie about their fi­nances and they are the ones with the most earn­ing po­ten­tial, the big­gest debts and the most hap­pen­ing in their lives.

All that ly­ing will likely mean bad news down the road. “The fastest-grow­ing statis­tic in in­sol­vency is se­niors hav­ing ei­ther a bank­ruptcy or pro­posal,” says Doug Jones, BDO trustee in bank­ruptcy. Granted, most of th­ese lies are likely small ones, maybe even white ones, but they can add up over time and that’s what wor­ries Jones. “All of the as­sump­tions about how much you need in re­tire­ment are al­ways based on a paid-for home and no debt, and that is not the re­al­ity of the world any more.”

Of course, there’s still time, which is why it’s im­por­tant to not let past mis­takes haunt you, says Ed­ward Jones ad­vi­sor Jonathan Ri­vard. That means break­ing the habit of amass­ing credit-card debt, “es­pe­cially if you’re in the even-more-ter­ri­fy­ing habit of re­cy­cling credit” by pay­ing off a credit card with a dif­fer­ent credit card or line of credit. You can quickly ratchet up your debt if you’re not keep­ing a lid on all your var­i­ous debt lines. Af­ter all, it’s pretty hard to save up if you’re for­ever pay­ing some­thing off.

But keep in mind that not all debt is cre­ated equally. “In some sit­u­a­tions, it’s per­fectly rea­son­able good debt to have and it’s at a good in­ter­est rate to have it,” says Tracy McLennan, a wealth ad­vi­sor at CIBC Wealth Ad­vi­sory Ser­vices. “Pay­ing down your debt is just an­other way of achiev­ing your goals so that I have a net worth and a cap­i­tal base to achieve those things that I want.” Read on for 20 more tips on how to boost your sav­ings.

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