April showers bring … tax returns

April showers bring … tax returns

Spring has sprung in central Ontario! I know, I know – I have been saying that for a month, right? I t feels much more true this week with temperatures above freezing for days in a row. I am excited about the weeks to come as the snow melts and the ice breaks up on the lake. Soon we will be able to get on our bikes, swim in the lake and play in the sun. April bring May flowers … and tax returns! Many people are getting a return of money that the government has held for them this year … otherwise know as a tax return. This week’s article dives into a few ways that you can take that money and use it to create a better money life. What other ways can you think of to use that money? Email me your ideas and I will share them in a future article....
Five smart ways to turn $800 into a better money life

Five smart ways to turn $800 into a better money life

Have you have socked away some money in the last few months, or do you have a tax return on its way to your mailbox?  Don’t let that money burn a hole in your pocket.  Here are five smart ways to turn $800 into a better money life. Start an Emergency and Opportunity Fund Start your Emergency and Opportunity Fund with your $800. A solid part of your money life plan is to build up three to six months of income set aside in cash in case of emergency. I also like to think that this is an opportunity fun … not for the trip to the Dominican, but as a go to place for a really solid business or personal opportunity when you have the cash flow to replace it. Don’t fall into what Gail Vaz-Oxlade calls the Easy Way Out Solution of using a line of credit as your emergency fund. Going into debt when you are in an emergency not going to help you in the long run. It is much better to have cash to deal with that emergency or take advantage of the great opportunity. Insulate the attic As we come out of winter it might seem like a funny time to focus on insulating the attic, but the attic is not only the coldest part of the house in the winter, it is the hottest part in the summer. Increasing your insulation to government recommended R50 or even R60 you can reduce the heat loss through your attic by 75-80% and will help keep the heat out in the summer. Putting your $800...

Spring might be waiting, but Money Season is here

The sun is shining as I write this post, and I am dreaming of spring days, of tulips popping up, walks with my dog and riding my bike in the woods. We still have a few weeks to go here in Central Ontario before we get that weather (okay – may 6-8!). It is Money Season though. Resolutions, RRSP deadlines, tax time … January to April is a time when a lot of money things come up.  Read on in this week’s article for five great ways to dive into this this year’s Money...

It’s Money Season: Five steps to less stress in your money life

Seasons change – winter, spring, summer and fall. We have a holiday season, hockey season and bathing suit season and we have Money Season.  Each brings up specific images, memories, decisions and actions. With the January to April Money Season in full swing, images and memories will come up and decisions will need to be made. We have all had to make choices around our money and we have all certainly made good ones and bad ones over the years.  For many, Money Season is cause for extra stress and anxiety.  A BMO study showed that the looming March 3rd RRSP deadline causes stress for 60% of Canadians, often causing them to make rash decisions. More than 70% of Americans say that tax filing is stressful or very stressful and studies show that this stress leads to health issues, more fatal car accidents and more challenging relationships. Reduce your stress, get better results and have more fun with your money by taking time and taking action now – before the deadlines arrive.  Here are five great steps that you can take to make your Money Season merry. Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change. ~Jim Rohn  Get clear on what is important  We spend all kinds of money on things we don’t care about, and often don’t even want because we don’t have a compelling reason not to. Instead of following the oft-given advice to tracking expenses, start your money life game plan by getting clear on what is important to you. When you have a compelling reason to do something differently, it...

Other Great Ways to Use Your Tax Return

Here are 3 more great ways to use your Tax Return Missed the other ones?  Read them here: http://www.karencollacutt.com/great-ways-tax-return/ and http://www.karencollacutt.com/3-great-ways-tax-return/ 7.    Lend it Is there someone in your life who could really use a hand up?  Consider lending your tax return to a friend starting a business, a student trying to cover school, or an acquaintance getting back on their feet after a loss.  Want to go further afield?  Kiva.org is a micro-lending site where you can lend as little as $25 to entrepreneurs in developing countries. 8.    Give it Consider donating your tax return to a cause close to your heart.  Not only does the organization benefit, you get the benefit of helping, and a tax credit in this tax year.  A win, win, win situation. 9.    Spend it Of course, if you don’t have bad debt, you have a plan to pay for your lifestyle expense, and you are contributing regularly to your retirement plan, you can always just go spend it.  Yeah, I know – this one sounds like the most fun. Have I got your attention?  Let’s talk about how to take advantage of the suggestions that appeal to you.   Go to www.ScheduleWithKaren.com to book 15-30 minutes with me to talk about what you need and how I can...

3 More Great Ways to Use Your Tax Return

Here are 3 more great ways to use your Tax Return: Missed the first three?  Read them here.  http://www.karencollacutt.com/great-ways-tax-return 4.    Contribute it to your RRSP, TFSA Always a great choice.  Eventually, we all want the option to retire.  You’ve got to have funds to do it, and the government gives us some great incentives to put that money away.   When you choose to invest into your RRSP, you get the added benefit of an additional return next spring. 5.    Contribute to your RESP Helping your kids or grandkids pay for post-secondary education is a big goal for many families.  The RESP program is a great way to bump up the money the kids will have for school with the governments’ 20% grant on the first $2500/year, and more based on your family income.  Service Canada – RESPs 6.    Pay down your mortgage You can generally make lump sum payments to your mortgage on the anniversary.  If that isn’t in the spring, pop the refund in a savings account and make a note in your calendar to arrange the payment 2-3 weeks in advance of the anniversary. “Hmmm … gotcha thinking?  Not sure where to start?  Go to www.ScheduleWithKaren.com to book 15-30 minutes with me to talk about what you need and how I can help.” Read tomorrow’s post for three more great...