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Saturdays are usually case studies … but it’s nearly christmas so instead, here’s a last minute gift idea to help people save! (thanks, Amanda for pointing it out). If you don’t save enough, see what it does …

MJ (aka ‘urbanista’), Vancouver’s coolest and geekiest (in the best sense of the word) realtor and I have teamed up to create a podcast called SavvyGreen.

The mission is to provide info on living and contributing to a sustainable, affordable, eco-friendly lifestyle in Vancouver.

Have a listen to our first episode!

Your bonus counts as taxable income. It will be included on your T4 slip for the year and you ultimately will have to pay tax on it either immediately or at some time in the future.The best you can do is defer paying tax on your bonus by rolling it into an RRSP. That way you will not pay tax until you withdraw it (at which point you might be in a lower tax bracket). Or you can reduce the amount of tax you will have to pay by donating some of your bonus to a registered charity.

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Have an accounting question? Submit it as a comment so it can be answered in a future “Ask an Accountant” entry.

A lot of us are fed up with the commercialization of Christmas – and no wonder! The majority of us don’t celebrate the Christ Mass at all, and a holiday to Buy Stuff is completely counter to our increasing awareness of the harm our consumptivism (it’s a word now, says me) is doing to our home, the planet earth.

For the person who has everything, here are some lovely gift alternatives to purchasing Stuff.

1. Through OxfamOxfam, world visionWorld Vision or Inter-Pares’ Solidarity-not-Stuff: purchase a goat, some chickens, some rabbits for a family in an impoverished country. It’s surprisingly affordable and more importantly, helps people in desperate situations – a couple egg-laying hens can provide basic nutrition for a family. The gift is given in your recipients name, and they’ll also receive a card informing them of the donation made in their name.

2. Have a young-ish niece, nephew, or grandkids? Consider purchasing them term deposits for their future use (college, travel, start a small business, nest egg) — but not just any term deposit. If you purchase the Shared World Term from Citizens Bank of Canada (not to be confused with citbank) dollar for dollar, the principal is used for micro-credit lending (eg. fair trade farmers)coffee in developing countries. The term will be held in your account but clearly have the benefeciary’s name on the term certificate. They will also receive a card.

3. One Laptop per Child. Purchase an extremely affordable (as in $100) laptop and your young recipient receives a laptop …. and so does another child in a developing country.

These are the kinds of initiatives that bring back some of the truly meaningful giving ethos of Christmas (which, for the record, I celebrate at a wonderful, slightly eccentric anglican church, St. James, in the downtown east-side. anyone welcome – 10:30pm but be prepared: it’s the full meal deal. Not xmas eve lite.)

oh, and … the classic…