The final months of the year can be busy, chaotic and overwhelming – but they don’t have to be. With some advance preparation, you can enjoy the fall and holiday seasons and feel like you’re on top of your fall finances.
Look back at the year so far
Take some time to look at your spending, saving and investments from the year so far. If you feel like you’re off track anywhere, keep that in mind as you approach the end of the year. Maybe you need to move some money to your emergency fund, or pull back on holiday spending. It’s better to know where you stand now, so that you can make changes before the year ends.
Here are some resources to help you assess your budget:
Prepare for holiday spending
The average American family expected to spend $932 on holiday shopping in 2022, a number that has been steadily increasing over time. Add in the cost of hosting events or travel, and you’ll have a hefty holiday bill. But if you plan for those costs ahead of time, you can make it to January without the guilt of impulsive holiday overspending.
One benefit of planning ahead for holiday spending is that you have time to find the best deals, especially on travel costs or big-ticket items. If you want to get the best rate possible on travel expenses, you can try apps like Kayak and Google Flights that will help you watch current rates and determine when to buy. Just make sure you read the fine print before booking; some third party sites don’t allow you to change or cancel your plans once you’ve booked.
Organize Your Fall Finances
There is plenty to do at the end of the year. Open enrollment, tax prep and end-of-the-year deadlines can be overwhelming, so why not start now?
Embrace the back-to-school spirit with some organizing and decluttering. Create spaces for important documents, receipts and forms, so you know exactly where they’ll be when you need them.
And don’t forget about your digital clutter – save and sort important emails, get rid of documents that you don’t need, and create an organization system for anything you’ve saved or might need as the year wraps up.
Add money to your accounts before the end of the year
There are some money tasks you can tackle now to cut down on this year’s tax bill. Here’s a quick checklist of what you can get done by Dec. 31 to save money:
- Donate to charity
- Contribute to pre-tax accounts like a Health Savings Account (HSA) or 401(k)
- Sell your losses to offset capital gains, and cut down on your tax liability.
- Pay estimated tax on any big bonuses or buyouts
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, physician-focused financial planner Katie Brewer, CFP®, wants to help you build a successful financial future. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.