Although it is human nature to wait until the last minute for just about anything, you are well-advised to make regular contributions to your RRSP a year-long habit, rather than scrambling to get it done during RRSP season.
“With more and more Canadians facing a shortfall in retirement savings or carrying debt into retirement, retirement savings early on in your work years is becoming increasingly important. When you wait until the last minute, it is more likely that you won’t have the money or the time to make your RRSP contribution” says Jeff Schwartz, Executive Director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“Saving for retirement should be part of your overall financial plan and your monthly budget. There are a number of benefits to making regular contributions throughout the year, rather than waiting until the last minute to get it done,” says Schwartz.
Here are reasons that you should contribute all year long and not just during RRSP season.
Money gets to work faster
Did you know that by investing a little bit of money over time, you’ll actually make more money than if you wait and put in a lump sum? Your money will get to work faster and start generating returns. You don’t have to time the market either, which can be a risky way to invest.
Avoid the stress
Waiting until the last minute to do anything is stressful. Why not take some of the stress out of your life by planning ahead and contributing on a regular basis?
Easier to budget
Your budget should include savings. It’s easier to grow those savings when you are automatically deducting it out of your monthly household budget. It’s much harder to find the money to make a lump sum contribution.
To make it even more seamless (and ultimately more successful) take advantage of automatic RRSP contributions, either through your employer or through your financial institution. It will be taken off automatically, which means that it will get done every month without fail.
You can better manage your cash flow when your savings is already taken care of, which makes this saving strategy easier to budget for.
Develops good financial habits
It’s a well-known fact that developing one good financial habit can lead to more good habits. Being mindful of saving will likely help you to think twice about spending beyond your means or overusing credit.
Make the right investment decisions
When you wait until the last minute, you may feel rushed as to which type of investment you should put your RRSP contribution. Making contributions a little bit at a time gives you the chance to learn about the different types of investments that are out there.
It’s important that you choose investments that suit your financial goals, personality and risk tolerance. You can also take the time to build a relationship with a financial professional that you trust to help you learn about your options.