I can’t believe it’s already the middle of December, and that Christmas is next week. Are you ready? I don’t just mean shopping. Have you done everything you need to do money-wise for 2013? Here’s a quick checklist of things to consider:
The December 31 date matters in some circumstances. If you have a 15 year old child or you haven’t been maximizing your contributions in previous years, you’ll want to read what I wrote about this last year and act on it as quickly as possible. Click here for details.
Have you used all your benefits for the year? Usually unused amounts are lost. I took my own advice from this post a few weeks ago and found that I hadn’t used as much registered massage therapy as I had thought. I had the same thing happen last year, so you would think I would learn. I suppose that’s what double-checking is for.
In the process of analyzing our benefits, I also found processing errors on the part of the insurance company and a way to save several hundred dollars on our medical expenses for 2014 by tweaking our flexible benefits. Not bad for a 2 hour time investment.
Tax loss selling
Do you have any loser investments sitting outside your RRSP? If it makes sense to sell them, and you want to be able to claim the capital loss in 2013, now is the time to call your broker for advice. More information on this topic can be found here (sub-title of analyzing your investments outside RRSP).
In order to claim the tax credit in 2013, all donations need to be made by December 31st. The new super-credit for charitable donations was introduced in 2013. You can read more about that here.
If you’re planning on enrolling your child in an activity in 2014 that is eligible for the Children’s Fitness Amount (line 365) or the Children’s Arts Amount (line 370), you may want to consider enrolling and paying now for 2014 courses. The claim for these amounts is based on when expenses are paid, not when the program occurs. If you haven’t used up your maximum for 2013, the unused portion disappears.
Did you have a really low income year? If you aren’t using all your tax credits because you don’t have enough income to offset them, you may want to consider withdrawing from your RRSP. Definitely call your accountant before doing this so that you can evaluate the immediate and long-term consequences.
If you’re wanting to order gifts online and avoid the crowds, get cracking! The Christmas delivery guarantee dates are around now for most stores. If you’re looking for Christmas budgeting tips, click here.
My new product release
Over the last few months, I’ve been teaching French songs to a small group of children on a weekly basis. We watch various videos, practice the songs together, and do some worksheets and other related activities to reinforce the vocabulary learned from the songs. I’ve put all this together in one convenient file that can be downloaded. You can find more information on that here. If you know anyone who may be interested, please feel free to pass that link along. I don’t have the marketing power of Amazon, so I could use all the help I can get. 🙂
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
I hope that you have a wonderful holiday. One of our Christmas dinners will be at my sister’s place this year, and judging from her Pinterest boards, I’m going to need to exercise for a year to work off the food we’re going to eat! I’m really looking forward to visiting with family and friends over the next few weeks. I’m sure you’ll be busy too – enjoy!