These are some pandemic-friendly ways to spend your SGI rebate
REGINA -- The Government of Saskatchewan approved a one-time rebate of $285 million to be paid out to SGI customers.
The province said while details are still being finalized, the average rebate will work out to approximately $285 per vehicle, roughly 26 per cent of an average annual premium.
If you’re considering your options for how to spend the chunk of cash, here are some pandemic-friendly options.
THE INSURANCE OPTION
You may not see the benefit of this immediately, but your future self is sure to thank you! For those who have the option, paying their car insurance for the next month (or few months) may be the best way to make use of the funds. For drivers who pay their car insurance annually, you might want to set it aside for your next annual payment. But there are a few other options.
THE INVESTMENT OPTION
Whether retirement is within reach or decades away, it’s never a bad time to start putting money away for retirement. Perhaps you just contributed to your RRSP ahead of the March 1 deadline last tax season, you can still put it in a TFSA at any time and let the interest rate benefit you. Depending on the type of investment you choose, you can renew it in a year, or pull out your funds, plus interest!
Baron Anderson, a senior financial consultant with IG Wealth Management, said growth is dependent on the type of investment you hold. An RRSP or a TFSA is the vehicle in which you can make a variety of investments. Some of those investments are stocks, bonds, cash, high-interest savings, GICs, mutual funds or exchange-traded fund.
“From a planning perspective I advise with any windfall, pay down credit cards and high-interest lines of credit first, then build an emergency fund with a low-risk investment (like high-interest savings, low-risk ETF or mutual fund) inside a TFSA,” Anderson said. “Then work towards longer-term goals like retirement by investing in an RRSP in an investment suitable for the client based on their risk tolerance and time horizon.”
THE SUPPORT-LOCAL OPTION
It’s no secret that local restaurants and shops are struggling to get by in the new economic climate. There’s never been a better time to go out and support your favourite local diner, cafe, deli, brewery or specialty shop.
In downtown Regina, most customers that businesses once relied on are still working from home.
The Regina Downtown Business Improvement District (RDBID) said before the pandemic, around 35,000 people came into downtown Regina daily. It said in the last year, that number has drastically declined to around 4,500.
"Even though the businesses are allowed to open, the consumer base that typically we have downtown is just not here right now," Judith Veresuk, executive director for the RDBID, said. "The office towers are at about 15 to 20 per cent occupancy."
THE INDOOR STAYCATION OPTION
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all types of business, local hotels are offering deals to keep customers coming in.
Booking a vacation or even a business trip has been put on the back burner for many people because of the pandemic and provincial restrictions.
While some hotels are offering deals for locals to stay, other are opting to allow visitors use of their pools for just a few hours
The Ramada Emerald Park Hotel is offering a three-hour swim suite option that allows guests to utilize their pool. While the Atlas Hotel is offering a family staycation option so families can utilize their waterpark.
THE OUTDOOR STAYCATION OPTION
One of the most affordable ways to take a vacation from your day-to-day is camping, and Saskatchewan has a multitude of options for everyone from seasoned campers to first-timers.
Reservations for the 2021 camping season in Saskatchewan’s provincial parks are set to open April 12 for seasonal campsites and April 14 to 23 for nightly and group campsites.
Sask Parks will launch a new booking site in April. The government said before reservations open, customers should plan to create a new account once the site is available. Online tutorials will be offered to help guide users through this process.
Further to Saskatchewan’s provincial parks, Parks Canada also offers numerous options for outdoor entertainment. The Grasslands National Park in the Southwest part of the province or Prince Albert National Park in North Central Saskatchewan both offer a variety of campsites or cabins, as well as fishing, hiking, water sports, beaches and more.