7 Points To Add To Your Year-End Financial Checklist
With the holiday season fast approaching, we may find little to no time at all to get our finances organized. You may think with all what’s going on right now—wrapping a few loose ends, you may as well deal with your finances next year. That shouldn’t be the case.
Just before you start your holiday shopping, take time to review your finances and have a checklist of important things to check out just before the year ends. This way you’ll have time to maximize your budget, increase your savings, and monitor your investments.
Photo by Luis Llerena
Don’t let the year end with your finances scattered all over the place. Who prefers to celebrate the new year with a troublesome and disorganized financial life? Here are # points of your finances to deal with as the year ends and leads into the next.
Double check emergency fund and retirement fund
If you’ve given your emergency fund less attention this year or in case you’ve used up a portion of it, gift yourself and your family a well-established emergency fund for the incoming year. The key is to build your fund with up to three to six month’s worth of expenses tucked in to cover for rainy days.
It is only practical and logical to have your retirement fund. If you are provided with workplace retirement plans such as a 401(k), max out and/or catch up on your contributions.
Offer tax-deductible charitable donations
‘Tis the season of giving so you might as well utilize the time to donate to a cause and organization you believe in. Not only will you be able to help and contribute but it can also benefit from your taxes. Do keep in mind though that only a portion of your donation is tax deductible and only accredited charitable organizations are applicable.
Review your spending habits
Time and time again you get reminded with your spending habits and how much it affects your finances either negatively and positively. Review your spending habits this year and recall how many times you’ve damaged your credit card or savings fund.
Do also observe whether or not your spending habits indirectly affects your contribution to your investment account(s). This coming year, refrain yourself from going on impulse purchases and splurges. Instead, start the year right by saving early and regularly. You’ll thank this habit later when the time comes.
Chat with your tax professional
The year is at its end and so this means one thing: it’s definitely a busy time for accountants and tax professionals.
Don’t go pushing and putting pressure over your tax professional this December. If you need to settle your taxes and documentation record, keep in touch with not at the last minute but earlier to give them time to review your numbers and raise their concerns and suggestions for the year-end financial moves and as well as for the coming new year.
Conduct a year-end tax review
Again, with regards to your taxes, review your annual income, expenses, and investment account(s). If you deal with your taxes alone, do it before your hustle week, set a day to focus on this. If you have a tax professional, as mentioned earlier, contact them and have them review your numbers. This year-end perusal of your taxes will help you to further save on taxes (i.e. tax deductible charitable donations).
Automate your bills
Remember last June when you forgot to pay for your electricity? Yes, it happens but there are ways you can prevent them from happening. Just before 2016 close its doors, it’s time to automate everything.
No more wasting time writing checks, waiting in line, and most importantly, paying late fees you don’t have to otherwise. Automatic online bills payment allows you to save time and money. This method is great for prioritizing your necessities before you are tempted to spend it on unnecessary stuff.
Revisit your goals
Were you able to attain your financial goals for 2016? Which area have you achieved and which do you need more improvement on? Do you wish to improve on your emergency and retirement funds next year? Do you also plan on being more strict with your spending habits?
Reevaluate your goals and set up a new one for 2017. Meet with your financial advisor and/or tax professional if necessary to identify your plan and lead you to the right path.
About Chie Suarez
Chie is a daytime writer for Depreciator – Tax Depreciation Schedule, a company dedicated completely to Tax Depreciation Schedules that aids the Australian property market.