What You Need To Know About RRSP Withdrawals

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Global News finance writer, Erica Alini recently asked Gennaro De Luca (CEO WEALTHplan & TAXplan Canada) to answer this question from a reader and we’d like to share it with you:

– THE QUESTION –

“Are withdrawals from a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) taxed on your gross or net income? I’m trying to figure out how much we can take out without going to a higher tax bracket.”

A Money123 reader (the question was lightly edited)

The full amount of the RRSP withdrawal will be added to your income for the year it is withdrawn. It is added to your tax return on line 129 before computing total income. Although the financial institution is required to withhold tax on the withdrawal, the final tax bill will depend on your taxable income for the year. If the withdrawal, when added to your other taxable income sources, pushes you into a higher marginal tax rate, that portion of your taxable income will be taxed accordingly. As far as the CRA is concerned, the source of the taxable income is not relevant; the total taxable income figure is what matters. On another note, if you have other income, an RRSP withdrawal may be an expensive way to pay for something.  You may want to consider a line of credit or other savings. At the very least, consider withdrawing the funds at the beginning of the year to defer taxes for up to 16 months or better yet withdraw the funds in a low-income year to mitigate the tax liability.

– Gennaro De Luca, certified financial planner, WEALTHplan Canada

 

New Milestones Mean New Credits & More Money Come Tax Time!

If you bought a new home or had a baby or got married in 2017 – it could qualify you for new tax credits and deductions. Life’s milestones are something to celebrate but it also means qualifying for tax credits when you file your tax return this year.

Did Your Relationship Status Change?

 Whether you married your high school sweetheart in 2017 or you started living common law with your partner (you have to have lived at the same address for 12 consecutive months to be considered common law), your relationship status can have an impact on your tax return and the amount of your refund. Don’t keep your relationship status a secret. Tell a TAXplan TAXpro and we’ll make sure to keep the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) up to date on your current relationship status.

If your status changed in 2017 or you became a parent there are certain credits and deductions you may qualify for and they will be based on your household income as opposed to your personal income. Credits such as the GST/HST credit and the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) are an example of what you may be eligible for.  A TAXplan TAXprofile ensures you never have to miss another credit or deduction.

You can also max out your tax savings by pooling your charitable and medical expenses with your spouse or commonlaw partner.  It’s win-win!

Your Bundle of Joy!

Babies are such a welcome addition to our lives and if you’re a first time parent there are so many “firsts”that thinking of your taxes may not be top of mind. No worries – at TAXplan we know what young families are going through. We have them ourselves! If you adopted a child or were expecting or you went through fertility treatments there are a few things you should be aware of when it comes to your taxes:

  • New eligible medical expenses – If you undertook fertility treatments or assisted reproductive technologies over the past ten years you’re in for a new tax break. Furthermore, you no longer need to be diagnosed as infertile in order to claim this as a medical expense.
  • Parental leave – Whether it’s maternity or paternity leave in order to be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits you or your spouse/partner need to have worked 600 insurable hours (about 16 full-time weeks) the year prior to claim them. Your normal weekly earnings must also be reduced by more than 40 per cent to receive EI benefits. Remember, EI is considered taxable income and should be reported on your income tax. As of December 1, 2017, Canadian parents working in federally regulated sectors including banking, telecom, transportation and the public service can spread 12 months of EI benefits over 18 months as a part of their parental leave.
  • Tax benefits – Most parents in Canada are eligible to apply for the CCB, a tax-free monthly payment to assist with the cost of raising children. Simply fill out form RC66 and send it to the CRA or contact TAXplan and we’ll gladly do it for you.
  • Your child’s education – Save for your little one’s college or University education by opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). Furthermore, whatever you deposit into an RESP can qualify for matched dollars through the Canadian education savings grant.

Did you buy a home?

If you purchased a new home for the first time ever in 2017 you’re looking at some new tax credits this year. Take advantage of the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (FTHB), a $5,000 credit, which works out to $750 in tax savings.

2017 could prove to be a big tax year for you with new credits and deductions that add up to a bigger refund. If you’re unsure what you’re eligible for let the TAXplan TAXprofile assist you with a customized checklist of tax documents. TAXplan makes filing your taxes easy, convenient and affordable.  Check us out!

 

Tax This! What You Can & Can’t Claim On Your Tax Return

Pets:

A dentist wanted to claim costs associated with his office aquarium because the goldfish were a source of amusement for his patients. Not so – says the CRA. An animal can only be claimed as a deduction if they are specifically used for assistance with a specified medical condition. When it comes to deductions there’s no end to the list of items Canadian tax payers think they can claim. Unless you want to be re-assessed by the Canada Revenue Agency (and nobody really wants that) – make sure you’re aware of what can and can’t be deducted.

Medical Expenses:

Medical expenses can be tricky so make sure you keep all your receipts. You can stay organized throughout the year with TAXplan’s handy medical expense organizer. You can claim travel for medical expenses but only if equivalent medical services are not available nearby, and you need to travel at least 40 kilometers one-way to seek medical attention. Not sure what you can claim? We’re here to help.

Work Related Expenses:

If you have incurred expenses to do your job throughout the year, such as purchasing a new uniform, tools or even vehicle then you may be eligible to claim employment expenses. Keep in mind you will need your employer to provide you with a Declaration of Conditions of Employment or T2200 Form

Employment expenses include car maintenance and fuel, home office costs, mileage.  They do not generally include hair cuts and manicures unless you’re a professional actor or model. Keep your employment expenses properly organized with TAXplan.

Your Vehicle:

When it comes to your vehicle you can claim expenses as either employment or self-employment expenses, however, that doesn’t include speeding tickets incurred while trying to get to client meetings. If you used your own vehicle during the year to run your own business or to perform authorized tasks for your employer, make sure to keep your receipts as well as track your mileage. A mileage log is indispensable in situations where you might be re-assessed by the CRA.

It’s Not Always a Write-Off – Even if you’re self-employed:

If you’re working for yourself, you know how hard it is to make a living. And sure enough you want to keep as much of the money you earn as possible. Unfortunately, just because you’re self-employed doesn’t mean you can write-off every everything you spend your money on as a business expense.  The CRA will allow reasonable business expenses – keyword here being “reasonable”. For example, if you have a home office and claim internet and home phone as expenses, the CRA will expect that you are also using these items for personal reasons. Claiming 100% of these home expenses as business expenses will raise a red flag with the Canada Revenue Agency and may cause you to be reassessed. To be safe, always keep track of your expenses in an expense log and back everything up with receipts.

Your Home is Your Castle – not a Deduction:

There is a common misconception that the interest you pay on your mortgage for your principal residence is a deduction.  The truth is that only if your home is also your place of business are you allowed to claim a percentage of your mortgage interest as a business expense. If you’re not self-employed and do not have a “home office” the tax benefit of owning a home only comes into effect when you sell. Every Canadian receives a capital gains exception on the sale of their principal residence.

And finally….

Stay on the right side of the CRA with TAXplan – where you’ll never miss a credit or deduction. Our TAXplan TAXprofile is designed to provide you with a customized checklist of tax documents we will need from you in order to properly prepare your tax return and making it easier to get your maximum refund – guaranteed.

Still have questions about what you can claim? A TAXplan TAXpro can walk you through other credits and deductions that might affect you.

info@taxplancanada.ca

1-855-610-PLAN

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I’ve Got My T4. Now What?

By now, you should have received your T4 as well as most of the other slips and receipts that you need for Canadian tax season. Your T4 slip will generally note your taxable income, benefits, allowances, deductions, and pension plan contributions. Remember, if you changed jobs or had multiple employers last year, you’ll need to make sure that you have T4 slips from all of them.

You may also have some of these additional tax documents:

T4, Statement of Remuneration Paid

T4A, Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income
T4A(OAS), Statement of Old Age Security
T4A(P), Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits
T4E, Statement of Employment Insurance and Other Benefits
T4RIF, Statement of income from a Registered Retirement Income Fund
T4RSP, Statement of RRSP Income
T5, Statement of Investment Income
T5007, Statement of Benefits
T5008, Statement of Securities Transactions
T3, Statement of Trust Income Allocations and Designations
RRSP contribution receipt

More information on tax slips and documents is available on the CRA website.

Once you have your T4 in hand, you’re ready to get started. The question is: how are you going to file your taxes this year?
You may be planning to follow the same tax filing system that you used last year. But is that really the best option? Are you really using the best income tax planning software? Did you know that most tax filing systems leave large gaps for human error? People miss many potential tax credits because they are using inadequate filing methods. What tax credits might you be missing?

That’s why we created the TAXplan app. It’s the only tax app in Canada that pushes your information directly to a professional tax planner – a TAXpro – for filing.

When you file your taxes through the TAXplan app, a TAXpro will help to reduce income taxes overall and ensure that you never miss a potential tax credit.

The app offers human expertise and communication. You can access TAXplan’s certified TAXpros to ask questions anytime and from anywhere using the messaging system.

You won’t find a more convenient, cost effective, stress-free way to have your tax return processed, maximized, and filed by a professional.
The app has been designed to meet the needs of individuals, families, students, and the self-employed.

With your T4 in hand, you can get started right away. There’s a customized checklist and secure file sharing vault that make it easy and convenient for you to interact with your TAXpro.

What if you don’t have your T4 slip?

If you’ve lost or misplaced your slip – we can get it for you along with most other government issued tax slips. All we need is your authorization to contact CRA on your behalf and you won’t have to worry about missing an important tax document. If you want to learn more just contact us and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions for you.

If you’ve got your T4, there’s no reason to wait to start your taxes. With TAXplan, filing your taxes online could not  be faster and more convenient.

Create your free online profile today and get a personalized quote. Remember, the sooner you submit your return, the sooner you’ll get your potential tax refund. Start now.

U.S. Expats & Canadians With U.S. Income

Did you have U.S. income last year and need to file a U.S. tax return?  TAXplan Canada is now offering U.S. tax return services as well! Whether you’re a Canadian with U.S. income or a U.S. Expat with a U.S. filing obligation filing your U.S. tax return couldn’t be easier with TAXplan:

  1. Get started by filling out a U.S. TAX QUESTIONNAIRE
  2. We’ll send you a price quote as well as assign a certified U.S. TAXpro
  3. We prepare your U.S. tax return & file your return with the IRS

8 tax tips and credits for families with new babies!

Congratulations on your bundle of joy! While you’re trying to get caught up on some sleep TAXplan has made filing tax returns easier than ever for young families. We know you’re tired and time is limited with the little one. That’s why filing your returns this year with TAXplan is the right fit.  There’s no need to leave your home to file your taxes – we’ve made it easy and convenient for you to file your return from the comfort of your couch or rocking chair. We’ve even done some homework for you by making a list of 8 credits & deductions that are available to families with babies and dependants.

1)      Medical Expenses – Any expenses you may have incurred such as the cost of a hospital stay or the cost of fertility treatments, may be eligible to be claimed as medical expenses on your income tax return. Medical expenses are one of the most overlooked ways of saving at tax time. You can keep track of your medical expenses throughout the year with TAXplan’s Medical Expense Organizer.

2)      The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) – This tax-free monthly payment is an income-based benefit to help families with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age. In order to qualify, you must file your taxes every year, as the CRA uses information from your return to calculate how much you qualify for. The benefits are paid over a 12-month period, starting in July, and based on your income tax return of the previous year.

4)      Child Care Expenses – If you and/or your spouse  paid for child care this year because you had to return to work or go back to school make sure you get a receipt. Child care expenses such as babysitters, nursery school or daycare, that were incurred in order for you to work or go to school are an eligible income tax deduction.

5)      Disability Amount – If your child is born with a disability please ask your doctor for a signed T2201 (Disability Tax Credit Certificate) and send a copy to the Canada Revenue Agency. This will entitle you to claim the disability amount for your dependant and help provide some additional relief on your tax return. If you file with TAXplan we can do this for you!

6) Adoption expenses – If you adopted a child under the age of 18, certain expenses incurred in the adoption process can be claimed as eligible expenses. The maximum you can claim per child is $15,670, the expenses must have been incurred during the tax year in which the adoption process was completed.

Here’s a list of the eligible expenses:

  • fees paid to an adoption agency licensed by a provincial or territorial government;
  • court costs and legal and administrative expenses related to an adoption order for the child;
  • reasonable and necessary travel and living expenses of the child and the adoptive parents;
  • document translation fees;
  • mandatory fees paid to a foreign institution;
  • mandatory expenses paid for the child’s immigration; and
  • any other reasonable expenses related to the adoption required by a provincial or territorial government or an adoption agency licensed by a provincial or territorial government.

7) The Amount for an Eligible Dependent: If you’re a single parent, you may be able to claim one of your children under 18 years of age under the Amount for an Eligible Dependant. TAXplan’s TAXprofile questionnaire is designed to help you answer all these questions – ensuring you get all the eligible credits and deductions coming to you.

8) Canada Caregiver Amount: If you support a spouse / common-law partner, or a dependant with a physical or mental impairment you may qualify for the Canada Caregiver Amount. Contact TAXplan for more details.

 

Doing Tax Season The Right Way

Do you usually wait until the last minute to file your tax return? Get ahead of the game with TAXplan’s customized checklist. Answer a few simple questions about yourself and we will tell you exactly what we need from you to get started on your 2017 return!

Avoid paying fines or giving too much of your hard earned money to the CRA. If you want to get the most of your refund and plan your taxes the better way here are a few TAXplan TAXtips for you:

 

  1. AVOID PENALTY FEES & FILE ON TIME

The deadline to file your 2017 tax return is April 30, 2018. There’s no getting around it so do yourself a favour and get started now.  Penalties for filing late if you owe the government is 5% of whatever you plus 1% a month for up to a year.

 

  1. GET YOUR REFUND SOONER

File early and you’ll receive your refund within 2 weeks or possibly sooner if you sign up for direct deposit.  The longer you wait the busier the CRA becomes which means longer wait times for your refund.

 

  1. OPEN AN RRSP WITH WEALTHplan & CUT YOUR TAX BILL

The deadline to contribute to your RRSP is March 1, 2018. Unsure whether you maxed out your contribution room for this year?  Give us a call. That’s where the plan in TAXplan comes in. We will plan to minimize your taxes and get them done accurately. Contributing to an RRSP makes good financial sense.  Every dollar you add to your RRSP comes directly off your tax bill.

NOTE: The 2017 contribution limit is 18% of your income or $26,010 — whichever is lower.

 

  1. DOUBLE UP ON YOUR CHARITABLE RECEIPTS IF YOU’RE MARRIED OR LIVING COMMON-LAW

Charitable contributions of $200 or more will earn you a 29% tax credit. Filing your tax return with your spouse or common-law partner means you’ll get the most in tax credits.

 

  1. DEDUCTIONS, DEDUCTIONS, DEDUCTIONS

You may not even be aware of the list of deductions available to you. Home and auto employment expenses are just the beginning. If you’re not sure and want to know more the CRA has a list of deductions you might be eligible for. TAXplan’s tax profile questionnaire has also made it easy for you to discover what those deductions are. Simply fill answer a few questions about yourself and our customized checklist will tell you what we need from you. A TAXpro will gladly answer any questions you may have and make sure you get every deduction coming to you.

 

QUESTIONS?

Contact TAXplan support at 1-855-610-PLAN or send us a message

Get Ready for the 2017 Tax Season with TAXplan Canada!

Looking to file your taxes this year but not sure how?  Tired of paying accountant prices for tax preparation? Is preparing your tax return yourself not your thing? TAXplan has the solution. This year we have 2 simple ways to help you file your return on time and get the biggest bang for your dollar:

 

Ways To File:

 

  1. In person – Book an appointment with a TAXplan TAXpro today and get started on your refund. We’ll answer all your questions and make sure you get every credit and deduction available to you.
  2. Online – Fill out our short questionnaire and a TAXplan TAXpro will get back to you with a checklist of tax documents we will need from you to accurately prepare your return eliminating the need to meet in person. At TAXplan we save you both time and money! Get started on your 2017 tax profile today!

 Ways To Save:

TAXplan believes in giving back – which is why we always have promotions to help you through tax season:

 

  1. TELL A FRIEND

Don’t keep us a secret. If you’re happy with our service tell a friend. You’ll get refunded $25 and your friend will receive $25 off their tax preparation bill. It’s win-win!

2.  STUDENTS FILE FOR FREE!

Are you a post-secondary student with tuition fees? Have your 2017 tax returned filed for FREE! – (Conditions: total income must be $20,000 or less. Must Provide an official T2202A receipt from school or institution. Does not include tax returns with self-employment, rental and/or employment expenses.)

 

Finally – here’s something to keep in mind this tax season…..

CRA accepting tax returns 6 days later:

That means that 2017 tax returns will now be accepted by the CRA on Feb.26/18 – that’s 6 days later than last year. If you are absolutely dependent on your tax refund and benefits you’ll have to wait longer to receive it as they won’t start arriving until March so be prepared and get your tax documents into TAXplan as soon as you can. Not sure which documents you need to give us?  Fill out a TAXplan Questionnaire and we’ll tell you exactly what we need from you.

Federal Government Tax Changes You Should Know About

It sure has been a busy year and the last few months some of the busiest with regards to tax changes. The Federal government has made several announcements to tax changes that may affect you next tax season. Some are good and some not so good. Either way you should be aware of them in order to not only prepare your taxes properly but to plan to reduce any amount you may owe. The changes affect a cross section of Canadians – from young parents to students to the small business owner. TAXplan has made a list of the recent changes to share with you all:

THE BAD:

CRA accepting tax returns 6 days later:

  1. 2017 tax returns will now be accepted by the CRA on Feb.26/18 – that’s 6 days later than last year. If you are absolutely dependent on your tax refund and benefits you’ll have to wait longer to receive it as they won’t start arriving until March so be prepared and get your tax documents into TAXplan as soon as you can. Not sure which documents you need to give us?  Fill out a TAXplan Questionnaire and we’ll tell you exactly what we need from you.

Parents – say goodbye to the Federal children’s fitness & arts credits:

  1. The Federal government has fully eliminated the children’s fitness tax credit and arts amount for 2017. This change amounts to $75 in tax savings for a fully maxed out fitness credit and $37.50 per child for anyone who maxed out the arts amount per child.

A hit to students:

  1. Full time & part-time post-secondary students should be aware that they will no longer be able to claim their education and textbook amounts, federally. However, the good news is you are still eligible for the federal credit for tuition fees. TAXplan likes to give back to students – If you are a full time student you could have you tax return prepared FREE! Contact us to see if you qualify.

A hit to public transit commuters:

  1. The public transit amount has been eliminated which means those of you who commuted in 2017 by public transit can only claim public transit passes purchased January through end of June in 2017.

WE SAVED THE GOOD FOR LAST

Good news for parents of young children:

  1. Canada Child Benefit will increase by 1.5% for the July 2018 to June 2019 benefits. And the even better news is that the Canada Child Benefit is not claimed as income on your tax returns.

Risk is no longer a factor for Canadian Forces and Police Personnel:

  1. The Canadian Forces and Police Personnel deduction is now available to all members on overseas missions regardless of the level of risk they are involved in. This deduction is retroactive to January 1, 2017. Contact a TAXplan TAXpro today to see if you qualify.

Canadian Entrepreneurs see drop in Federal tax rate:

  1. It’s good news for small business owners. Starting January 1, 2018 the small business corporate tax rate will be reduced by 0.5% – which means it will go from 10.5% to 10% with a promise from the Federal Government to reduce it to 9% by January 1, 2019.

Don’t Just File Your Taxes – Plan Them!

self-employed-stop-killing-your-business-with-accounting-costs

With tax season still months away, most of us are too busy preparing for the holidays to give our tax returns a second thought. While we all want to pay as little tax as possible most of us don’t take the time to plan our taxes.  We wait for March or April to roll around and then madly scramble to get them filed before the deadline.  The truth is if you want to file the best possible tax result you need to put some effort into the planning before tax season rolls around.  Just like last minute holiday gift buying – you don’t always get the best bargain for your buck if you don’t plan ahead.  Being aware of any changes in Canadian Tax Laws early could save you a great deal of stress at tax time.  Here are a few changes that have been proposed or approved to be aware of:

 

  1. Income Sprinkling

Some of the more recent proposed changes that could affect you next tax season include new tax measure against income sprinkling.  Income sprinkling is the process where a small business owner can distribute their business income with his/her spouse or an adult child – even if they are not employees. If the spouse or child is in a lower tax bracket, this sprinkling can result in huge tax savings. If the proposed change goes through it would mean restrictions on the ability to pay salary or wages or dividends to adult children aged 18-34. Adult children will be assessed to determine whether they contribute to the business and whether amounts paid to that child should be taxed at his or her normal tax rates or at the highest tax rate possible.

  1. Tax on Foreign Properties

If you live in Ontario and own foreign property you should be aware that the Government of Ontario has announced a 15% punitive tax on foreign property.  Furthermore, the Federal Government now requires that all property sales must be reported with the tax return even if you sold your principle residence. Failing to report could result in hefty penalties.

  1. Converting Income to Capital Gains

If you’re incorporated, you may have converted what would otherwise have been taxed as salary or dividends into capital gains. This process usually involved selling of some shares to another company related to the shareholder. The government proposes to close these opportunities by tweaking section 84.1 of our tax law, which was intended to prevent this type of planning.

 

Tax credits such as children’s fitness tax credit, arts tax credit, public transit credit are being reduced or completely discontinued. As changes to tax are becoming more complicated and changing every year it is more important than ever to sit down with a financial advisor or tax expert to plan to reduce the amount of tax you’ll need to pay at tax time. Tax planning is just as important as tax preparation and savings tools such as a TFSA (tax free savings account) is just one of the things that could save you money in the end.

 

The best time to plan your taxes is now. With RRSP season just around the corner take this opportunity to speak with your financial advisor about making a contribution. And remember, to be eligible for deduction in the previous tax year, your RRSP contribution must be made before the end of the first 60 days of the current year. This year, the RRSP contribution deadline for the 2017 tax year is March 1st, 2018. The annual contribution limit is 18% of your earned income for the previous year to a maximum of $26,010.

 

Finally, don’t wait until March or April to figure out how you’re going to get the biggest tax refund ever or how you’re going to minimize the amount of taxes you owe.  Get ahead of the game by having a year round approach to the amount of tax you plan to save so come next holiday season you can just sit back and enjoy the holidays.

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Stay On Track of Holiday Spending

With only 8 weeks left for holiday gift buying, shoppers everywhere are flooding the stores looking for that perfect gift. If you’re like me, you start each holiday season with the best intentions by making a list that you swear you’re going to stick to. Procrastination and busy schedules however keep us from sticking to our holiday shopping goals and we resort to last minute purchases that push our budgets over the edge.  If you’ve created a budget for yourself throughout the year and want to stay on track of your holiday spending you can do it with a little planning and these five helpful tips:

 

  1. SETTING LIMITS ON HOLIDAY SPENDING

 

Yes – we all want to buy our friends and family gifts they’ll really love but that doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Give your credit cards and bank balance a break by setting a limit to what you can spend. Create a mini holiday budget based on your household budget.  If you don’t have a budget in place,  apps like Mint and You Need A Budget are a great place to get started and help you determine what you can afford.

 

  1. MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE

 

Yes – the mail carrier is a nice guy cause and the security guard at work always has a smile for you but that doesn’t mean they have to be on your gift buying list.  You’re not Santa Claus.  You have a finite budget and can only really afford to buy gifts for those individuals you’re really close to.  If you have more than 7 names on your list do some editing and cut it down to 5. You can still give to other people in your life but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. With a little imagination you can show people you care about them without breaking the bank.  The holidays are about spending time with friends and family not about spending.

 

  1. SPEND BASED ON WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD

 

We all have that wealthy aunt or sibling who outdoes everyone every year with their gift giving. But just because they are in a financial position to purchase expensive gifts doesn’t mean you are. Keep your shopping to items you can afford and that fit your own finances. After all, it isn’t the gift that matters but the thought. Keeping your cash flow positive at this time of the year will have it’s rewards in the new year when the credit card bills start to roll in.

 

  1. STARTING EARLY WILL ELIMINATE IMPULSE BUYS

 

Search the internet for sales and coupons on items you’re looking to buy.  Online shopping is a great way to avoid the last minute shopping craze in crowded malls and you can do it from anywhere and at anytime. Before you shop in local stores, comb through the coupons you received in your mailbox before hitting the mall. These tactics will not only help you stay on track but will make gift buying easier.

 

  1. GIFT OUTSIDE THE BOX

 

It’s not always about the size of the gift box or the price on the tag. Sometimes the best gift of all is your time. Think about all the people you’ve neglected over the year. Not because you want to but because you’re too busy or you don’t live close by. Spending time with friends and family in a meaningful way goes well beyond the holiday moment. A heartfelt gesture to your nana in the nursing home is a gift that will reward the gift giver and the recipient. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter are just a couple of ways you can make a difference without spending a cent.

 

SPENDING TIME – NOT MONEY

Lastly, remember that the holidays are a time to rejoice in the friends and family we have with us. You want to enjoy this time of the year not stress over how you’ll manage to pay your credit card bill when it arrives. Keep to your budget, give yourself time, get organized and you’ll be in a great financial position to start off the new year.

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