Remembering RRSP Contribution During the Holidays

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Free up Funds by Being Practical and Thoughtful

As Christmas and New Years fast approach, it is easy to forget that the deadline to contribute toward your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for 2010 is also nearing.

The final date by which you can contribute to your RRSP for the 2010 tax year is March 1, 2011.

If you are uncertain as to the dollar value that you are eligible to contribute to your RRSP this year, check your 2009 Notice of Assessment. Maximum RRSP contributions for 2010 will equate 18 per cent of your total earnings last year, up to $21,000.

If you are uncertain as to how the moneys you apply to your RRSP can be used to their full extent, talk to a financial planner now. There are endless possibilities for how your RRSP funds can be allocated, and a variety of RRSP eligible products to choose from – from mutual funds to dynamic segregated funds. A reputable financial planner will help you to deduce an RRSP investing strategy that can work for you.

Like many Canadians this month, you are probably wondering how you are going to afford another holiday season, let alone maximizing RRSP contributions. If you have neglected your RRSP all year and are fretting now, there are still ways you can curb your holiday spending.

Start by re-evaluating your holiday budget. Large price-tag items are fun to receive, but even more meaningful are gifts from the heart. Consider making your own tins of baking, mixed spices, sauces, marinades, salsas and jams over expensive pre-arranged cheese and tapenade baskets.

Utilize your creative left side and take pictures of your family, or scenic landscapes. Print them at a large retailer and frame them yourself, instead of getting professional photos taken this season, or buying pricey artwork. This gift will remain a family memento for years to come.

If you are a business owner, consider holding your Christmas staff party at your home. Order sushi trays, or hire a traveling events company to set up a tapas bar in your abode. This will save you exponentially over renting the floor of a bar or restaurant.

Also consider throwing a theme party on New Years. Pick a costume that is fun, and have everyone BYOChampagne. This move alone can save you and your partner hundreds in dinner tickets, a babysitter and cab rides for the evening.

The new year is time to make resolutions, but it’s never too late to start now. There are still four months left to RRSP cutoff. Examine your current budget, look for flex room, and strategize how you can free funds to get your maximum, tax-advantaged contributions into your RRSP for the 2010 tax season.

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