Well, I’ve decided to automate.
Let’s face it, I’m not very good at being in control of my own savings. I certainly have the best intentions, but my follow-through leaves something to be desired. So I’ve decided to take advantage of electronic funds transfers (EFT) to start my retirement savings.
For many years I was against EFTs simply because I never had enough money to cover them, and then I’d be hit with non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees, often a $40 or $45 penalty for not having enough money in the account. And unlike my current situation, those fees didn’t result from my over-spending on frivolous wants, they were simply because I was young, starting in my career making minimum wage, and just didn’t earn enough money to even cover my basic bills, let alone any wants above that.
Well now I finally have some disposable income and feel ready to embrace the EFT. I had an appointment at the bank today to set up an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan – similar to an American 401K), with an automatic transfer of the money from my husband’s savings account on paydays to the RRSP account. It actually feels really great to finally have some sort of retirement savings plan.
If this goes well for a couple of months, then I’m going to set up an EFT from my account to a TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account – similar to an American Roth) for my emergency fund. I know that the EFT won’t completely stop me from itching to spend the money, but hopefully I’ll be able to resist easier if it’s out of sight and out of mind.
And now for confession time. I haven’t been great with my emergency fund money in the past two weeks. You may have noticed a bit of a lull in my posts here, and that’s simply because I was engaging in some self-destructive behaviour and I felt too guilty to post. To be frank, I decimated my emergency fund savings, shrinking it down to $200.
And normally I would be able to bulk it up on payday, but the RRSP required a minimum of $500 to open, so I can’t add as much to my emergency fund as I normally would. I could only add $300, so currently it’s sitting at $500. I am pretty disappointed in myself over this, considering that’s what I started with one month ago.
But I can’t do anything to change the past. I can only learn from my mistakes, and try to do better next time. So my goal for the next 4 weeks is simply to NOT TOUCH MY EMERGENCY FUND MONEY AT ALL – not at all, not just a little, not just the tip, nothing! – and hopefully add at least $250 to it. These are perfectly reasonable goals to have, and I could really use a win instead of more self-disappointment.
Let’s see how it goes.
Current e-fund savings Total: $500