Fall always serves as a sign that the year is coming to an end. While you’re probably saving things like “financial resolutions” for the start of January, now is actually the perfect time to make some money moves.
We know, it’s a busy season. With the beginning of the school year and the rush of holidays, the last thing you want to do is stop and look at your money (or lack thereof). But a little effort now will go a long way in getting next year started off right.
So without further ado, here are some simple steps you should take in your personal finances before the year ends.
Review Your Savings, Debt, and General Financial Standing
The best place to start is with your current financial standings. Even if you’re afraid of what you’ll see, you need to know how much money you have, how much debt you have, and what your general cash flow is. This will allow you to adjust your budget and set goals for next year.
If you keep records of your savings, debt, investments, etc., you can even compare where you started the year vs. where you’re finishing. This will hopefully serve as a motivator for the upcoming year to push yourself further with your finances.
Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions and Membership Accounts
As you’re looking over your expenses, you’ll likely see a subscription or membership you don’t utilize. Maybe you have a Hulu subscription, but you spend all your TV time watching Netflix. Maybe you signed up for classes somewhere and never actually went.
If there’s something you’ve been paying for that you haven’t used in over 2-3 months, it’s time to let it go. The amounts may seem small, but it can really add up over time.
Review Tax Withholdings
Does it seem like a lot more money is being taken out of your paycheck then there should be? You may want to adjust the claims you’re making on your W-4. A bigger tax return sounds nice, but it’s generally best to pay the government as little as possible throughout the year, rather than trying to receive a bigger return.
Start Thinking About Big Purchases and Expenses for Next Year
Is there a big-ticket item you have your eye on? Maybe you’re planning an exciting vacation somewhere. Whatever is it, start planning for it now. Create a budget for it. Start setting aside savings. That way, by the time it comes around to make the purchase or take the trip, you won’t be crippling your finances.
Contribute to Savings/Retirement
The earlier you save money, the more it will do for you in the long run. Should you have some extra money on hand, now is a great time to add a little extra to a 401(k) or IRA if you haven’t reached your maximum for the year.
Depending on your current debt and savings standings, this may not be your number 1 goal. But it’s something to certainly consider.
Give to Charity
Charitable contributions are great for two reasons: First and foremost, you get to help an organization do great things. Second, you can write off contributions on your taxes. If you’re hoping to make some last-minute deductions to your taxes, consider donating some money to the organization of your choice.
Talk to a Financial Planner
If you’re serious about improving your financial health and getting your money in order, consider talking to a certified professional advisor. They’re trained on proven methods and practices of managing and growing your personal wealth.
The new year can be a busy time for financial advisors, as people are beginning their New Year’s resolutions. Act now, and you can be a step ahead and everyone else. For certified financial planners in the Springfield, Ohio area, contact KB&P today!