Can you believe it? We are nearly at the end of another year! Given how the Christmas and New Year’s holidays line up, this will be the last #TalkToMeTuesday blog post for 2018. Although money never sleeps, this financial planner needs to and so should you. However, that doesn’t mean taking leave of your financial responsibilities. Here are few year-end tips to help you finish out the year in good fiscal shape.
We all tend to spend more around the holidays so keep a close eye on your budget. If you need to, build a contingency into your budget for slight overages. People do this with remodel and construction projects, you can do it with holiday budgeting. Use an app to track spending, sign up for alerts from your bank or credit card company, or calendar a reminder to check your credit card, savings account, and bank statements more frequently this month.
Keep gift giving to a minimum. No need to be a Scrooge, but definitely sit down and draw up a list of recipients, and a per gift spend for each. It’s better to gift one nice item than several unwanted, cheap gifts that will get thrown away, forgotten, or regifted. You could even consider coordinating and sharing in the purchase of a gift with another friend or family member. For example, if mother needs a new coat but it is out of your budget, consider partnering up with a sibling or relative and co-gift.
Pay off all credit purchases by December 31. I like to pay off my credit card statement each month. December is a particularly important time to do so. If you are tracking that balance and are prepared to pay it off by month’s end, this will help you stick to your budget and not overspend and carry a balance into the New Year. If you are not quite able to do so, consider making this a goal for next year.
Volunteer. Seriously, do one volunteer activity and if you have children, make them go with you. Teaching your kids that giving of yourself and your time can be just as rewarding and important as giving money is a great thing. I am sure you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction and it will be very helpful to the organization you select. So, go ahead, do something nice and donate some time.
Review your year-end statements and keep an eye out for purchases that are not yours, deadlines to pay bills (especially insurance, auto renewal, taxes, etc.), and anything that if missed would cost you a late fee, or worse, a lapse in coverage or service. Don’t let these items slip through the cracks during all the year-end revelry.
Finally, relax! Seriously, be sure to take a few days and just enjoy some down time. It’s a great time of year to go for a winter walk and actually enjoy the colors of winter and the changeable weather that it brings. Invite a friend that you haven’t seen in a while or spend extra time with the family or that someone special. Just make a point to do it even if you have to mark off a calendar day as a reminder not to book anything.
As an independent CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, I can help you focus on your finances month-to-month and not just at year’s end. Contact me and let’s get started. #talktometuesday #getstarted #HowIcanHelpYou #GetHelp #Hireaplanner #Christmas #vacation #CFPPro #savemoney