2017 is fast approaching and I’ve seen numerous articles on things you should do to get your finances in order before the end of the year! I’ve created a handy checklist to help you sort through and tick off these items with ease!

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1. Determine your RRSP contributions needed to minimize income tax payable. You should be able to figure out how much tax you’re going to owe at this point. Play around with your RRSP contributions to see what gives you greatest refund. The Simple Tax calculator is great for estimating how big your tax bill is going to be. 

2. Pull money out of your TFSA. If you are going to need some of the money in your TFSA in the first quarter of 2014 it is worthwhile to pull the money out before December 31st so that the contribution room is reset come January 2017!

3. Top up your donations for the year. If your RRSP contributions aren’t going to minimize the tax you will owe to zero you may want to boost your donations. On the first $200 you will receive a credit of 15% and then 29% after that. Be aware that if it’s your first time donating you are eligible for the first time super donor credit which gives you an extra 25% all on all your contributions!

4. Review your portfolio to see if the investments you hold are still meeting your needs. If they aren’t sell them and rev-vamp what you hold!

5. Increase your contributions to your investment portfolio. Increasing an automatic transfer by 5-10% may not seem like a lot right now, but it will make all the difference once a few months of 2017 have gone by!

6. Recap your yearly spending. I think it is really important to know where your money went during the year! See where you are spending all your money and pick a category or two to focus on come the new year. You can’t plan where you want to go if you don’t know what has hindered you in the past!

7. Make a realistic budget and/or spending plan. After you have looked at all your spending patterns for the year, you should be able to allocate your money to a loose yearly budget. This will help you keep your spending and savings on track for 2017!

8. Realize any capital gains and losses. If you are looking to offset a capital gain or loss with another investment you plan on selling do so before the 31st! This will ensure you’re in the best tax position possible come the new year!