As Financial Literacy Month wraps up and the craziness of the holidays peeks around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share another quiz all about being a savvy saver! I honestly love a good quiz and I know you do too! This Savvy Saver Quiz by TD is all about finding out what stage you’re at financially. I’m sure you already have an idea, but it’s always nice to find out from a third-party, right?
Since I’m a keener when it comes to personal finance, after taking the quiz I found out that I was at the Investment Planning / Retirement Ready stage. Not exactly true, though I would love to be able to retire in my 20s!
Why I think I was put into this class was because I’ve always been really focused on retirement savings. A bit odd (I know) since I’m only 29, but since I started budgeting and aggressively saving at 24, I always knew that I needed to save for my retirement early.
Part of the reason I think is because my now husband has always been a freelancer (meaning no chance of a company pension plan), and at the time my work didn’t offer any type of pension or retirement savings plan either.
That and I have no confidence that the Canadian Pension Plan will cover much or any of my living expenses when I retire, so I’ve always believed that saving for my retirement was up to me and me alone.
Set a Date for Retirement
That being said, one of the recommendations I received after the quiz was to reassess my retirement goals. Obviously this recommendation would make a bit more sense for someone on the cusp of retirement, but it did make me think about what my retirement goals are.
Like do I have a date I’d like to retire by? Honestly, no. My husband and I sometimes joke that we’ll never retire — even if we can afford to. But that’s still a best case scenario isn’t it? I’d love to be able to work as long as I want to, but there is the very real possibility that I won’t be able to and I’ll be forced to retire earlier than expected.
Luckily we did work out a retirement date with our financial advisor. Although I doubt my husband and I will retire by 65, we have devised a savings strategy so we’ll have enough money to retire on if we want to.
Develop a Savings Strategy & Review Regularly
Which brings me to another recommendation I got from the quiz — develop a savings strategy. No matter what stage you’re at financially, your life will be a million times better once you set up a savings strategy. As I mentioned in my post about debit, my initial savings strategy incorporated the savings bucket system and a limited use of credit.
I set up automatic savings deposits into my emergency fund, TFSA and RRSP, and I’ve largely kept up the same system ever since. I’ve gotta say, because of my savings strategy, I almost never worry about if I’m saving enough. I’ve run the numbers, I’ve plugged everything into my budget spreadsheet, and since I’ve set up automatic savings deposits I really don’t have to do that much besides reevaluate everything when my income and/or expenses change.
Maintain Good Habits
The last recommendation I received was to maintain good habits. Nothing I haven’t heard before, but it’s still a good reminder. When it comes to making and maintaining good financial habits, it can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful.
The key thing to remember is that no one is born good at managing their money. It’s something you must learn, and some people just end up learning sooner than others. No matter what, it’s never too late to break those bad habits and replace them with good ones.
If you want to change your financial destiny, you need to take action by tracking your spending, making a realistic budget, setting short-term and long-term goals and surrounding yourself with like-minded people (like me and the awesome readers of this blog!).
I’m definitely going to take this to heart, especially as the holidays rapidly approach. It’s easy to get caught up in this season of overindulgence, which makes it even more important to try to maintain those good financial habits.
What financial stage are you at?
This blog post is sponsored by TD. All of the opinions are my own.