There is a good reason why Canadians should quit their current spending habits and focus on the future. Experts say Canadians will need up to a million dollars to fulfill a comfortable retirement for thirty years. The Baby Boomers are retiring with a lot less money and the youngest of this generation will be retiring by 2030. Nearly one-fifth or twenty percent of this group is not prepared and have no money saved to pay the bills! It works out that almost two million of the nearly ten million baby boomers living in Canada are going to subsidize their spending by working for the rest of their lives. In fact, the preceding generation, Generation X, are not in any better shape and the prospects look slightly worse. Twenty-eight percent or over three million of these Canadians are not saving and have many reasons why it’s almost impossible to get on track. Between low incomes and high debt loads, finding a good reason to make a change is solely based on compromise. The compromise to lower our standards today in order to sustain a comfortable retirement.
Through the working years, many look forward to retirement and while moving through life`s ups and downs there is a belief that it’s something inevitable. However, fast-paced lifestyles, the high cost of living, expensive cars, nice clothing, and student loans are costing us a sustainable future. As hunter-gatherers, our Ancestors play an important role in our impulse to collect items. It`s in our genes and this innate behavior has to be controlled in order for change to occur over time. Stopping the flow of frivolous purchases comes in part of what we`re taught as children and how we perceive the world around us. We have to reset our train of thought because many are throwing out items after just a single use and that`s not helping the problem. We must begin to have a connection with the items we use and sentimental value can help plant the seed for frugal living. A piece of cotton, a precious stone or even a plastic cup can bring waves of pain or happiness. Thoughts of tenderness, sadness or nostalgia come to mind when we look at a particular piece from the past. It can be a reminder of a special person that fed the soul or bring you a moment filled with happy times. An emotion that takes us back for a fleeting moment imagining ourselves in a different place, often with those we love. Our thoughts attached to certain objects create comforting moments for people and we’re downright protective of them and have trouble leaving them. Establishing a connection with an item will give it value and the item takes on a meaningful and long life. This meaning becomes a staple or a pillar of our household and children will especially learn to value the item because it has a story. It has nice side effects like less stress, disposable income and time to spend doing the things we really want to do!
It’s never too late to change our shopping habits and we have the power within us, but it’s a process that will take time and quite a few mistakes. If you haven`t stepped inside the mall and spent money on anything that wasn’t a necessity in a while you’re more likely to binge shop. It’s like going to a grocery store when you’re hungry, you know you’re going to come out with more food than you anticipated. Buy a small gift for someone who could really use it or purchase an empowering book to gain a new perspective on shopping. If you see something that you don’t really need, but absolutely love! Walk away and put some thought into the decision so you know for sure it wasn’t bought on impulse. Put extra thought into the real cost of an item, translate the cost into how many hours of work to pay for this purchase. Lastly, If you have debt put the money into paying bills instead. If you can walk away and stay away reward yourself, pick up a stunning dinner from the grocery store or put a few dollars in a vacation fund!
Our Great grandparents lived in a world where they`re choosing to live simply was limited to their socio-economic status. The political environment had unexpectedly sunk them into an economic depression. Our decisions to save or consume are powerful and capitalists are motivated to keep us spending and they`ll promise us a dream of greater lives but in fact, we’ll always just be chasing it. The precious stone or fancy car cannot fulfill our soul’s desire to connect to the things we own, the people we know and the environment that surrounds us. If we reset our lives and live life with less, it will create a sense of freedom. We can consciously make a choice to decide to save for the future. and perhaps our children will learn the value of frugal living and we may become pleasantly surprised by the ultimate outcome.