The year is nearing its end, and 2017 is peaking right around the corner. Now’s the perfect moment to take time to reflect and reevaluate upon your finances and make moves that could greatly impact your life positively. If you don’t, it might affect you negatively.
Financial moves in question are those such as securing your taxes and making wise tax-related decisions that could remarkably reduce your liability this year and increase your income or return. Another example would be planning for your retirement fund and credit card strategy.
If you’ve made a lot of money moves and mistakes this year, you still have enough time to straighten things out and prepare for 2017. As the year closes, here are some important money moves to make as 2017 opens.
Credit card strategy. The end of the year also marks the holiday season. In short, you’ll likely do some Christmas shopping for your loved ones and that means a few swipes of your credit card. That’s okay, it’s the season of giving, just spend responsibly and not impulsively.
How is your credit card debt hanging on: were you able to pay the monthly fee and how much do you still owe? You might want to create a new plan on paying off your credit card debt. If you want to make the most out of your credit card spending and want to find the best card that offers the best rewards, you might want to look into that.
Retirement plan. How’s your retirement plan looking? Were you able to reach your goal or max out your contributions on your 401k or any similar plans?
In retrospect, not many people are saving enough or at all for their retirement especially those who are still at a young age. If you’re one of those people, take a hard look at reality and soon you’ll realize how important it is to save for your retirement even at a young age.
Check your emergency fund. Chances are you’ve already borrowed or used up an amount off your emergency fund, if not, good for you. But if in case you have, make sure that you review and make plans to contribute to this fund.
Be sure to have at least three to six months’ worth of all your expenses in your emergency fund in case of layoffs and other unexpected emergency. Another factor to consider is to adjust the fund according to the size of your family and your current savings at hand.
Plan for your child’s future. If you already have kids, you’re obviously well-versed on how outrageously high expenses can get with their education and extracurricular activities (add to that their hobbies and activities outside school).
It’s not uncommon that parents tend to overspend more on their children’s athletic endeavors and question their school’s educational fee along as how their institution obliges on that exorbitant spending. There’s nothing wrong in supporting your child’s extracurricular activities but do keep in mind to spend accordingly. Regardless if you have one or more kids, you should prepare for their education and extracurricular expenses.
Look back and change it up. Were you a wise spender this year or do you need to look closely on your spending habits for next year? Taking a bird’s eye view on where your money went this year helps you in planning your finances and budget for the following year.
If you think creating a system would make it easier to get a hold of your funds and save, try it. For instance, applying for a separate savings account allotted for your travel and entertainment, emergency and savings fund.
Reevaluate your goals. If you’ve reached your savings goal target amount, time to move onto your next goal. Which is? What are your financial goals, though?
Let’s say you’ve successfully paid for and completed your mortgage, finally debt-free, and you’re essentially financially stable this year after a 10- or 15-year struggle. What’s your next plan? You might want to maximise your excess savings and put into other investments, charity donations, more for your retirement- or children’s educational fund.
Plan. Plan. Plan. Truly the most important and essential part of working on your finances especially with the new year at its near, is to setup a new and updated financial goal for the new year. Based on your evaluation of the current year’s status and goals, it’s your move to plan accordingly.
What financial goals have you achieved this year and what are your plans for the next? Share it with us!
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.