We are just a few short months away from the end of year and weeks away from the start of the holiday season! That means we have a couple months to check off a few must-dos off our financial checklist.
Right now is the perfect time to make some of the below money moves before the holidays are upon us and a new year is here.
Not everything will apply to you, but this financial checklist is a great place to start improving your financial lives before 2023!
Check These 13 Smart Money Moves Off Your Fall Financial Checklist
1. Revisit 2022 Retirement Contributions
Check in with your 401K (or any other Employer Provided Retirement Plan) IRA and self employed retirement account contributions for 2022.
Assess where you stand. Should you/can you be contributing more? Are you on track to max out your contributions? Have you maxed out already and should you consider investing in a taxable brokerage?
You have until December 31st to make any changes to your 401K/Employer Provided Plans for 2022 contributions and until April 18th, 2023 to make 2022 contributions into your IRA.
If you are self-employed, check in with your CPA to determine how much you can or should be contributing to your self-employed retirement plans.
2. Budget for the Holidays
If we don’t plan or budget for holiday spending – we will overspend. Start putting $25, $50, $100, whatever the number is….aside per week to support the inevitable expenses coming up over the holiday season.
Plan, budget and set boundaries for your gifting. Have an idea of who you will be gifting to and a price range that you would like to gift. This will help you realistically budget for the months to come! Think family, friends, clients, postal carrier, employees, teachers for kids, etc.
Note: Generosity is a beautiful thing, but within your financial limits. Do NOT go into debt in an effort to be generous in the form of gift giving.
3. Business Owner/Side Hustler/Entrepreneur: Tax Planning
If you own a business or are a contractor, you should be making calls with your CPA to discuss tax planning. Discover if there are things you can be doing the last quarter of the year to minimize your tax bill!
4. Homeowners: Prepare Your Home for the Winter
There are a significant amount of energy costs and repairs & maintenance associated with the fall & winter months. Be a step ahead and think about the following items before the winter is here:
- Cleaning gutters
- Insulating windows
- Cleaning chimney and/or fireplace
- Inspect/tune up the heating system
- Testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
5. ORGANIZE and/or SELL Summer/Fall/Winter Clothing
Donate or sell whatever you do not wear, do not love or what others will be able to benefit more from than you will. Minimalism is underrated. Whatever you do end up selling…save/use the cash for the holiday season.
6. USE Your PTO
Especially if your PTO does not roll over to the following year….USE IT. This is part of your compensation. Make it a priority to take the time off that you so deserve and have earned. Don’t let these days go to waste!
7. If you have a FSA – Flexible Spending Account – USE IT!
The 2022 benefit period is almost over. Now is a great time to take inventory of any eligible planned expenses in 2022. You may carry over unused funds up to $570 into the 2023 – assuming you re-enroll into an FSA account for 2023. If you don’t plan to re-enroll, use up these funds by December 31.
If eligible through your employer & depending on what plan you have, you may be able to continue to incur new eligible expenses until March 15, 2023.
Note: This is different than a Health Savings Account
8. Consolidate & Simplify
I am a firm believer that simplicity in personal finances is a recipe for success. If you have accounts that can be consolidated and are duplicates of another – I strongly encourage you to consider consolidating them and keep your personal finances as straight forward as possible.
9. Roll Over An Old 401K
If you have an old retirement account still sitting at a previous employer plan, consider rolling it over into an IRA. Employer plans typically have higher fees and have less investment options.
Check out HiCapitalize – a company specially geared towards helping assist individuals with rolling over old 401K/employer retirement plans for FREE.
10. Identify & Update Beneficiaries
Make sure that you have updated or revisited your beneficiary designations to ensure that they are still appropriate for the year to come.
11. Cancel Unused Subscriptions
Now is a great time to reevaluate the subscriptions, streaming services, etc. that you pay for. Are they used? Are they necessary? If not, cut the cord now or before the end of the year and start 2023 without this recurring expense.
12. Use Old Gift Cards
According to bank rate, “About 51% of US adults forget to redeem them gift cards. The value of these forgotten gift cards is estimated at around $15.3 billion — around $116 per person.”
Go through your drawers and your wallet to identify any unused gift cards and plan to use them whether for yourself or on gifts for others during the holidays!
13. Tax Loss Harvesting
This will only apply to those with taxable brokerage accounts. (You cannot participate in tax loss harvesting within tax advantaged retirement accounts). With the markets having a rough year, I imagine that some of you with taxable brokerage accounts would be able to take advantage of this investment strategy prior to year end.
Refer back to this Financial checklist throughout the next few months and make sure to check off as many as you can!
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