Year End Financial To-Do List
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner
Let’s get our finances in order before the year ends. Here’s a financial to-do list:
- Establish a holiday budget. Determine the total amount you can afford to spend on gifts. List everyone on your gift list with a price range next to each person.
- Track your holiday bills. If you use your credit cards a bit too freely, transfer the amount of your budget into a savings account – just withdraw the cash when you go shopping.
- Keep a little extra savings on hand. Unexpected expenses always crop up during the holidays so it’s good to have a financial cushion.
- Update your W-4 if you’ve had any changes in your family during the year. This form tells your employer how much money to deduct from your paycheck for income taxes.
- Use the remaining money in your FSA for eligible health care expenses or lose it at the end of the year. Your company may offer a grace period up to 2½ months to use the money or allow carryovers up to $500 next year.
- Pay yourself first. You can contribute up to $18,000 to your 401(k) by 12/31/17. You have until 4/17/18 to contribute up to $5,500 to a Traditional or Roth IRA. Those who are age 50 and older can make additional catch-up contributions.
- Make your charitable contributions, especially if you itemize on Schedule A.
Vist my Basic Financial Management page for more tips.