There are less than two weeks before the end of the year. While it’s a time to relax and enjoy the holidays, there are also smart steps that you can take to get the most from your money and set yourself up for financial growth in the coming year.
Here’s a year-end financial checklist.
1. Review Your Budget
If you have a budget plan, take the time to review it. See where things worked and where they didn’t. If you fell short of your savings and debt payment goals, look at where you can cut spending. If you found that you exceeded your goals, congratulations! You may want to look into additional ways to invest your savings or make a plan to pay down your debts faster.
Anticipating some big expenses in the coming year? Whether it’s braces for the kids, renovating the kitchen, or replacing the family car, the time to start planning for these expenses is now.
2. Max Out Your 401(k)
Have an employer-sponsored 401(k)? If you haven’t reached your maximum contribution limit (usually $18,000), use the opportunity to contribute more of your salary toward reaching that limit. It’s tax-free, and it’s money that you can count on in the future.
That said, you should only do this if you have already set aside money for an emergency fund and feel that you are paying down your debts.
3. Make Your Charitable Donations
Have a favorite cause? If you want your donation to count for the current fiscal year, make sure that you make your donations before December 31st. Don’t forget to collect your proof of donation. You’ll need them when you file your taxes.
4. Get Your Credit Report
Haven’t checked out your credit report? There’s no time like the present. You can get a copy of your credit report for free at annualcreditreport.com. Not sure how to take advantage of the information provided? You can also sign up for credit analysis with DebtHelper.com.
5. Talk to Your Financial Planner
If you have a financial planner, make an appointment to speak with them before the end of the year. They may be able to make recommendations on how to best manage your money so that you can get the most benefit from your savings and investments.
Don’t have a financial planner? Consider talking to a certified debt and credit counselor. They can help you to organize your finances, create a budget for the coming year and offer solutions to help you pay down your debt.
Want to learn more? Schedule a free counseling session today or call us at 800-920-2262.