Yes – it’s already November.
Yes – the holidays are around the corner.
Yes – 2016 will be here before you know it.
But, you still have a small window of time to put some of your finances in order before holiday chaos begins. Here’s a short list of things to do in the next couple of weeks.
1- Update your financial plan – what a great way to begin the year with a plan in place to help you achieve the lifestyle you want AND can afford. Supply updated information to your Certified Financial Planner™ professional and let them update your plan. Click here to read why you need a financial plan.
2- Review your beneficiary information, especially if you had a change in marital status (who wants an ex-spouse to inherit your hard earned dollars?).
3- Use all money in your flexible spending account (FSA). Some employers may give you a grace period to use 2015 money but most employers do not roll FSA money into the next year. Check with your Human Resources department for your company’s policy.
4- Calculate how much you can realistically spend on holiday gifts and activities (I’m trying to avoid the word “budget” – but that’s essentially what I’m suggesting you do – create a holiday budget). Find an app to help you track your holiday spending (and yes, include all those premium-priced holiday coffee drinks).
5- Inform loved ones now if you prefer money as your holiday gift to reduce debt or even build an emergency reserve. Click here to read more about the importance of having an emergency reserve.
6- Check withholdings for your year-end bonus (of course, this to-do only applies if you will receive a year-end bonus). If you contribute to your company’s 401(k) plan, find out if contributions will be taken from your bonus. Also, verify how much your bonus will be taxed. It’s always wiser not to spend your bonus before you receive it – you may be shocked at how much Uncle Sam keeps.
While the holidays are quickly approaching, there’s still some time to put your finances in order. Target accomplishing one of these items every other day – in this way, you’ll tackle all of them before Thanksgiving.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter and financial adviser. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”