The end of the year is here and you have a few hours left to get your end of year personal finance must dos in order. There are several websites that provide excellent and detailed suggestions that will help you to start the new financial year on the right foot.
Below you will see some of my favourite end of year personal finance must dos. These are ideas that I think will work for anyone who is looking to make a small, but meaningful impact on their finances in the new year.
1. Check Deadlines
There are several fees and taxes that have a December 31 payment deadline. Review your records and confirm that your fees and taxes are paid up. Don’t subject yourself to unwanted penalties and fines.
2. Contribute to Retirement Plans
Some retirement plans require you to make contributions by the end of the ear, so that you can claim them on the following year’s tax return. If you can, boost your contributions prior to year-end, to gain the maximum benefits available.
3. Prepare for the Future
Now’s a good time to create a financial plan for the upcoming year. You can estimate expenses based on the past year’s activities and set goals for the amount of money you want to save and invest. A solid financial plan can keep your finances on track.
4. Donate to Charities
If you’re committed to getting the most from your income tax filings, you can contribute to a charity. This has to be completed by year end in order to claim for it on the next income tax filing period. Check the specific requirements for donating to charities in your area.
5. Review Your Insurance Policies
A lot can happen in a year especially in the insurance world. Now is the time to decide if your coverage is adequate – do you need more or less coverage? Do you need additional policies for you and your family? Check your policies now, and make that determination before year end.
6. Create Estate Plans
Do you have a will and does your will still represent your final wishes? Get your life in order and make sure that your beneficiaries on your accounts, real estate deeds and other assets are up to date. Also make a note of your wishes in the event that something unexpected happens to you.
7. Review Your Investments
If your investment needs and goals have shifted over the past year, you should consider reviewing and possibly changing how your assets are allocated. Whatever changes you make, always remember that they should be closely aligned with your financial goals.
8. Create a Debt Pay Off Plan
Make a plan to get rid of your non-mortgage debt, free up some cash and breathe a bit easier. You can choose either the debt avalanche or debt snowball method. I recently created a plan to clear off my debt using the debt snowball method.
Your small actions now can have a big impact on your future finances, so make your choices carefully. This simple exercise should encourage you to pay attention to your finances throughout the course of the year, so that you can make better end of year financial decisions.