You aren’t likely to find a thousand dollar bill hiding in your sock drawer or in the creases of your wallet. No, saving a grand after the bills are paid is an accomplishment, and often a combination of earning, saving and discipline. That’s why you may want to think your plans through and not fritter it away with mundane expenses (new blinds for the window? You need to try harder.) You sweated for that cash — how can you ensure you’re getting the maximum reward from it?

We pit investing $1,000 in an RSP versus more instantly gratifying spending. Our calculations are based on a hypothetical 27-year-old with extra cash in their pocket, who wants to retire 38 years from now at age 65. We carefully calculate how the funds grow based on assumptions below.*