Saturday, 27 February 2016

RRSP Deadline

RRSP Deadline

The annual deadline for contributing to your RRSP is Monday February 29, 2016. If you still need to make a contribution make sure you get it done ASAP, you never want to be the last person dropping off a cheque at your advisor's office on Monday! 

Isn't the deadline usually March 1st? Yes, it sure is. The actual rule is that you have the first 60 days of the year to contribute for the previous years taxes and since 2016 is a leap year it gets bumped up a day. 

What happens if I'm late? First off, don't be! This really depends on your financial institution, most places should be able to backdate the transaction by a day or two but it can be a hassle. I used to have to do this for client's and it's a bit of a pain. Save everyone some grief and get in there in Monday. 

What if I make contributions the first of every month? March 1st wont count for your 2015 taxes, it'll be for 2016. Just like the above, there's a chance you can get it backdated if you really need to. 

When will I get my contribution receipt? Receipts are usually mailed out to you by your financial institution so if you're only making your contribution on Monday you may have to wait a couple of weeks to get the slip in the mail. Another good reason not to wait until the last minute ;) PS. Don't be the person that contributes on the last day and then calls a few days later wondering where their receipt is...that makes us financial folks a little crazy. 

Any other questions? Feel free to post them in the comments and happy RRSP season :) 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Quick & Painless Hair Tutorials

Doing my hair every morning is the bane of my existence (ok, maybe that's a little dramatic). Right now my hair is about collar bone length, a lob (hair people speak for a long bob), but up until December it was a lot longer...I chopped off about 6 inches. It's much easier to deal with now that its shorter and healthier but I do miss being able to pile it up in a messy top knot. I also used to have blunt bangs so I do consider myself well versed in the torture that is growing out bangs. I really liked my bangs and have moments where I would love them back but I've been able to talk myself out of it (so far!) because the growing out process really sucks. 

I like to go with some sort of style that keeps my hair out of my face but I also need something that is acceptable for the workplace. This combined with my utter lack of hair styling skill means that I'm constantly on the lookout for easy tutorials...thanks Pinterest :) I've rounded up a few of my go to's, and trust me, if I can get them to work so can you (I only figured out how to french braid last year...serious novice). 

Super quick and easy and if you don't make it too messy it is office appropriate. I like to pull it off center a little for a side pony. 

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Casual Bun
Kate from 'The Small Things Blog' is an absolute master at hair tutorials and this one is a total winner. Easy to do and keeps your hair out of your face. 

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Low Chignon
Another great tutorial from Kate that looks pretty and polished and is perfect for dressier occasions. I love how her tutorials are always just the right amount of undone, I hate a stiff hairdo. 

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The Gibson Tuck
Emily from The Freckled Fox has the most amazing hair I've ever seen. Her tutorials are always gorgeous but I just don't have nearly enough hair to pull most of them off. This one though works for medium length hair, just with a little less oomph. 

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Braided Crown
Once I figured out the art of french braiding this became my go to style when I was growing out my bangs. Holds those pesky bangs in place and lasts the whole day. The post this is from has a bunch of great ideas, another favourite of mine is coming up next. 

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Simply Twisted 
A second winner from the same post that I used a ton in the bang growing out process and still use now to keep my hair back. It's a great way to wear your hair down but not have it drive you crazy. I find it holds better on second day hair, or use a little texturizer.

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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

RRSP Loans

Do you need an RRSP loan?
February means RRSP season and if you already have an RRSP somewhere it's very likely that you've been receiving some communications promoting RRSP loans and all the wonderful things they can do for you! Let's talk about this and figure out if taking out an RRSP loan is actually something that will be beneficial to you. 

First off, it's still a loan and you're going to have to pay off the principal and interest. Sure, you'll get a beefed up amount on your tax return but there's really only a few circumstances where it's actually worthwhile. 

As we've discussed before, RRSP's are the most beneficial when you make contributions in your highest possible tax bracket and then withdraw the funds in when you're in the lowest possible tax bracket. That means that if you're just starting out in your career and will potentially be earning way bigger bucks down the road it makes sense to hold off on contributing to (TFSA's are great to use in the meantime). This is especially true if you are considering an RRSP loan. To make up for the interest you are going to have to pay, you want your refund to be as big as possible and this means you want to be in a high tax bracket. I'd recommend skipping the RRSP loan unless you are in a high tax bracket. If you want to play around with the numbers a little CIBC has a nice (and simple) RRSP loan calculator

RRSP loans can also catch you in a bit of a loop where you need to keep getting a new one every year just to keep up with your contributions. If you're making payments on your loan of $250/month that's $250/month that you could instead be depositing directly into your RRSP and not playing catch-up all the time. Your goal with an RRSP loan is to be able to make your payments and also be able to contribute enough to avoid having to get a loan year after year. If you find yourself in your peak tax bracket and want to make up for missed years maybe you can deposit two (or even three!) times as much. Tip: making monthly contributions help to break this up instead of having to do a huge lump sum at this time of year. 

Banks can also be a little tricky when pricing products like RRSP loans and they often have special interest rates that will only apply for the first year. Avoid this and keep your interest payments low by paying back your loan within one year instead of extending the term. If the payments are too high on the amount you want it's a pretty good sign that you're biting off more than you can chew. 

Chances are pretty good that you shouldn't get sucked in by promotions on RRSP loans and you can most likely catch up on past years room with just a little extra saving each month. 

Do you need an RRSP loan?

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Perfectly Polished Flats

I've always had aspirations of being one of those ladies who can wear sky-high, pointed toe pumps to work every day and look seriously bad-ass. You know just like the ladies in 'Suits' who kill it the work wear department...because obviously comparing your real life wardrobe to a TV wardrobe is totally practical...
Image Credit: Wikipedia

But alas, I am not that girl. I am just not a heel-wearing girl, never have been and am pretty sure I never will be. For starters, I'm already tall (5'8) and wearing heels makes me feel like I'm towering above everyone else and I'm just not comfortable with that. And because I've always felt awkward in heels I've just never worn them that often so my feet have no tolerance to being cranked at such an angle. 

This means that I'm always on the hunt for flats that are polished enough to wear to work (my work isn't suit and tie fancy but dressing professionally is important). There are a few things I look for in flats that I think makes them more work appropriate. I really like a pointed toe and really think it looks more polished, and makes your legs look longer. I also like to keep colours fairly neutral, I'm willing to add some colour but usually keep it in the darker, more jewel-toned realm as opposed to bright. Quality is also key; good quality materials (think leather, or suede) will look more sophisticated and will last you longer. 

I've rounded up a few great options from around the web in case you need to refresh your shoe wardrobe! 

#1; #2; #3; #4; #5; #6; #7; #8; #9; #10

Now, there are times when you need (or want) to dress it a little so having a couple pairs of heels isn't such a bad idea. I like a wedge heels to keep thinks comfy or even a mid-heeled pump can serve it's purpose without putting you in to much pain. Here's some of my recommendations in this department; I own the Clark's booties in grey and absolutely love them, and these Aldo pumps are just high enough make you feel fancy but not so much that you'll fall over (I have them in black and nude...enough said). 
#1; #2; #3

You'll notice that quite a few of the links are for, and that's for good reason. I've had really good luck ordering from them and it's usually the first place I look when I need new shoes. They offer free shipping (always), free and easy returns, and there always seems to be a good sale. No paid advertisement here or anything, I just find think the site's a good resource for Canadian shoe shoppers!