We hear many stories of people who seem completely unconcerned about building up great piles of debt. However, there are savers at the other end of the spectrum who handle money far differently. My own tendency toward saving shows up in how I feel about RRSP and TFSA room.
Looming in just over 5 months (at the start of 2015) is more contribution room in my retirement accounts. This is a good thing. Contributions reduce my taxes over the long run. However, to me it doesn’t feel entirely good. It feels like a debt. It feels like I owe money to my retirement savings accounts. It should be satisfying to max out my contribution room, but what I usually feel is just relief that only lasts until the start of the next calendar year.
It’s not that I gnaw my fingernails with worry. I’m generally happy, and there isn’t much that keeps me awake at night. But RRSP and TFSA room feels like an obligation. When I had mortgage debt, the feeling of obligation was much stronger, but the feeling of having to top up my retirement savings accounts is similar.
I’m not looking for sympathy here – I live a great life and my finances are in very good shape. My point is that spenders and savers have very different emotional responses to money matters. My feelings about contribution room may not apply to all savers, but I doubt they are unique.