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FINANCES AND THE HOLIDAYS

The holiday season can be a financially stressful time. As we’re perhaps looking ahead to our New Year’s resolutions to adopt a new diet or get a gym membership, let’s also remember to think of our financial future. I’m talking about your financial plan – or your fiscal health.

January will bring with it the credit card bills, so review your plan before the year-end and make the changes necessary to prepare for 2020.

Here are some strategies with important deadlines that you should consider. These could help reduce your taxes for 2019 and will help to ensure that your future will be financially secure.

1. RRSP contribution (deadline: March 1, 2020)

It’s not always easy to find extra money after the holidays, so start by creating a holiday budget or re-evaluate your current budget and strategize where you can free funds. Consider maximizing your contribution prior to your holiday expenses in order to prioritize your tax-advantaged RRSP contributions.

2. TFSA contribution (deadline: January 1, 2020)

If you haven’t yet, make your 2019 contribution. The TFSA 2019 contribution limit is $6,000. Withdrawing money? If you’re planning to withdraw money from your TFSA soon, consider doing it before year-end. The amount withdrawn is added back to your contribution room in the following calendar year.

3. Charitable donations (deadline: December 31, 2019)

Donating to a registered charity by the end of the year provides valuable tax credits. If you are planning to do your donations, make sure to do them by December 31 to claim them on your 2019 tax return.