2014 Financial To-Do List

Seriously, has it really been 4 months since I last posted?? My life has been a blur, and I am reminded of how easy it is to fall into routine. Work has been going well, and I am finding that I am reluctant to take vacation time because I don’t want to miss anything! So it is definitely nice to be looking forward to work, but I know that I’m still in the honeymoon phase ~ 9 months to the day! At the very least, I figure I should set up my annual to-do list for myself as well as my clients (a not so subtle hint of course!)

  1. TFSA contribution – the maximum remains similar to last year at $5,500 this year. I will definitely be maxing out my contribution room this year, and it is something I would recommend to my clients as well, regardless of their financial situation. For more information in regards to investing in TFSAs or RRSPs, check out my smack-down between the two here.
  2. RRSP contribution – a lot of my clients automatically max out their RRSP contributions for the year once they determine what their contribution room is. Some prefer to “maximize” their contributions instead, so they will contribute enough to drop down to a lower tax bracket. It all depends on what their financial priorities are for the year, but it is a discussion that needs to happen.  Important dates to remember: March 3, 2014 is the deadline for contributing to an RRSP for the 2013 tax year, and your tax return for 2013 has to be filed on or before April 30, 2014. I am saving up my RRSP room and will make the contributions for the next tax year since I only worked for 8 months last year. I’m also working on Pension Adjustments at work; everyone familiar with what they are??
  3.  RESP contribution – for those who choose to contribute into an RESP for their children’s future, the maximum contribution you can make on an annual basis to receive the full 20% match from the government (in the form of the CESG) is $2,500. If you have not made the full contribution every year, you can also make catch-up contributions as well! To find out how much catch-up room you have, call 1 (888) 276-3624! For more information on RESPs, check out my post here, and see if you are eligible for any other additional grants that are available. Free money from the government is always a good thing!!
  4. Asset allocation – this is also the time to determine if your current asset allocation is reasonable for your financial goals. Check out this post to determine your own basic asset allocation. If this is the year you choose to become a Do-It-Yourself Investor, check out my posts about Mutual Funds (IIIIII) and ETFs (III) to help you start your journey!
  5. Credit report – time to get your annual credit reports! I will be getting mine through Equifax (find the step-by-step instructions here) as well as TransUnion (find the step-by-step instructions here) this year as well. I wonder if it might make sense requesting one at the beginning of the year, and the other one in 6 months so I will always be checking my reports twice a year rather than once a year. This way, I will realize something is amiss sooner than later.
  6. I don’t usually set financial goals for myself, but now that I’m working full-time again, I would like to hit a 50% savings target. This might be a tougher target to hit as I have some big things planned for the year, but it is a start.

Anything else on your Financial To-Do list?

Thanks for reading; I definitely appreciate you sticking around! :)