Saving more money in 2012 so that you have an emergency fund should be a major goal. Your emergency fund should be large enough to provide all the necessities for your family for 6 months.
The latest polls show that Canadians are very pessimistic about the economy in 2012. How do you feel about the economy in 2012, and would you feel better if you had 6 months of living expenses just in case something unexpected happened
1) Pay down credit card debt and save on interest payments, by consolidating debt with your home mortgage.
2) Make an RRSP contribution and save on income taxes, the contribution deadline is Feb 29th. Does and RRSP Loan make sense? Your income tax refund can be used to pay down credit card debt to save even more.
3) Make a contribution to a Tax Free Savings Account.(TFSA). You have an additional $5000 of contribution room for 2011 plus any unused contributions from previous years. The income you earn is Tax Free. If you have non registered money in other accounts transfer this money into TFSA. This can be part of your emergency fund because money can be taken out of the TFSA at any time without penalty. ( depending on the type of investment within the TFSA)
4) Pay yourself first. From every pay cheque set aside 20% of the cheque in a separate account. Do this every month even if you do need to dip into this account for some payments, continue to do it every month and look for ways in which you can reduce payments so that you will gradually make progress on the savings account.
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