December can be one of the busiest times of the year. However, you’ll thank yourself if you take some time to get organized for next year before the end of this one. Here are a few simple suggestions to help you prioritize your financial housekeeping over the next few weeks:
Check benefits. If you or your spouse has an “open enrollment” with an employer’s health plan, review any new options and compare costs from the previous year. It may make sense to adjust or switch coverage. Also, if you have any flexible spending or pre-tax accounts for medical or childcare expenses that expire at the end of the year, be sure to use remaining funds so you don’t lose them.
Review retirement statements. Set an appointment for January to meet with your financial advisor to review and discuss if you should reallocate your investment dollars, especially if you’ve undergone a major change, financial or otherwise, in your life.
Give more. December is a great time for charitable contributions. It feels good to support organizations you care about, and it is your last chance to take advantage of tax reductions. No matter what you decide to support, giving will put a glow in your heart this holiday season … and could boost your wallet come tax time.
Automate your resolution. If your New Year’s resolution includes saving more or paying down debt, consider establishing an automated savings account or setting up automatic payments to a loan or credit card.
Amp up with technology. Platforms like Quicken, AceMoney and Mint are great tools for gaining an immediate snapshot of your spending activity and helping you make adjustments based on your needs and goals.
Analyze debt. Make sure to investigate interest rates you are paying on all outstanding debts. Understanding these numbers is crucial for achieving other important financial goals.
By following these suggestions, you’ll be better prepared for a happier, wealthier new year. Have a great holiday season!