March 1st. The day every year where Canadians rush to the bank to contribute to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs).
The benefit is real: contributions made before the deadline can be deducted from a Canadian’s taxable income in the 2017 tax year, which either reduces a tax hit or can generate a refund. Meanwhile, RRSP money grows on a “tax-free” basis (more on that later…), with the withdrawals getting tax deferred treatment in retirement at a lower rate (ideally, if you plan it right).
Salary is just one factor. Not the be-all and end-all.
I had a relative a few years ago who was the pride of many in the family. Why? She was absolutely killing it on paper. A business degree from one of the top schools in Canada. A job at a reputable employer with a six-figure salary. A beautiful bachelor apartment in downtown Toronto all to her self. She had it all by age 30 – except her happiness.
This past spring, I crossed off a travel site on my bucket list: Japan. That place where cherry blossoms bloom in April (now March – thanks climate change). Where almost all toilets can clean your butt (seriously). And where it seems that if you love something, guaranteed there is a store dedicated to that thing: Kit Kats? Not a problem, here’s a store. Pokemon? Here’s a store. Capsule toys? Here’s a store.
Ah! January! The month of renewed optimism until the cold really sets into your bones and the sun disappears behind those dreary, snowy clouds (in Canada, anyway).
This is the first month-specific financial update post since November since I took the first Monday of January to post about my 2017 year as a whole. Since that time, I’ve made it through the first two months of my new job, got offered to be a national speaker for an after-school program (yay side hustles!), and learned the cost of commuting.
In all, my savings rate for January was 61.42% over a spend of $2,199.05.