Here in Canada, you can deposit money into your retirement account before March of 2020. You can then deduct the amount on your taxes. If you’re a Canadian reading this, you are likely aware.
For the first time in my life (I’m 43) I had a bit of extra cash outside of regular contributions to do it this year. The amount is small but I am still kind of blown away by the fact that I got my shit together, paid off my non-mortgage debt, and had extra money to place into my new retirement account that is managed by me, myself and I (also a major milestone…still lots to learn but I’m actually doing it!)
Unlike some in the FI/RE community, I was not frugal since birth or even since moving out on my own. I’ve been borrowing money for things my entire life. It feels really good to be in a brand new mindset where that is just no longer an acceptable option!
Of course it would have been nice to come to this realization far earlier, but best not to dwell on the past. What’s done is done.
If you are there already, it’s a wonderful place to be. If you aren’t there yet, but you want to be, then I suggest deciding now that it’s not acceptable to spend money you don’t have anymore. Then proceed with reducing expenses and increasing income. You will eventually get to a turning point where you give yourself a little bit of wiggle room to turn the tide in your favour.
I’m already seeing a big difference after making some changes in the span of a year. Yes, I am older and have had a chance to move ahead in my career. That said if I had this mindset in my 20s, life would be a lot different now!
So I guess the moral of this story is: start, and keep going. Optimize regularly. Even your taxes. Read what others are doing for inspiration. Take control of as much as you can handle. I’m proud of you!