I should be contributing more to my RRSP. Blech.

Even saying it out loud sucks. Right now there are two schools who fight for dominance in my brain: the side that says, “You’re super young, you have plenty of time to save. Take that money and go traveling and enjoy your youth.” and then there are those (mainly from personal finance blogs and books) who tell me that now is prime time to get started and I should be contributing 8% of my income and it will have so many more years to grow and then I’ll have way more money to pay for all the crap associated with being old and alive. Yay.

And so I save. A tiny amount is directly deposited into an RSP account.  It kind of feels just like another bill I have to pay, so no biggie. But, that tiny amount is way less than the recommended 8%. It’s more like 2%.

I don’t want to “steal” from my future just to buy worthless crap in the present, that is not my deal.  But when you aren’t making huge sums of money, and you want sooooo badly to go gather up all your pennies to go traveling and have amazing adventures and meet your soulmate (or not, no biggie), that bit that goes into another account you can’t touch makes a difference.

However, I do want to contribute more (bringing it up to at least 5% of my income). I should just do it. Tomorrow. After I look at my budget yet again.

I wonder how many of my friends actually contribute to their retirement, and how many 23 year olds contribute.  I’ve also been thinking about a friend who currently lives at home and makes a decent income. She would prefer to save and buy a place, rather than take the plunge and rent for a while.  She sees home ownership as a really great investment (which it is, especially in the city I live in), but knowing that she really, really likes shopping, I wonder how much she puts into other types of investments in her future. Maybe I’m far behind in the savings/investment game. 

But maybe my fear of buying comes from watching too much of that show on HGTV, where first time home buyers are shocked at what they can actually afford (generally little ugly old places, compared to what they were hoping for), and how quickly all the taxes and fees and other costs add up when you purchase a house.  Apparently you need much more than just the down payment.

Too scary for me. I will stick with my exceptionally affordable rent in a neighborhood I love, and figure out what to do with all this extra income (ha) later.