The end of the year is always a good time for both reflection and thinking about the future. But before you set your sights on changes and plan for 2022, you still have time to make some positive changes in 2021. Consider your financial life. Would you like to look back on this year knowing you took steps to improve your finances? Here are a few financial planning steps anyone can take before the New Year.
1. Meet With a Financial Planner. Do you currently work with a financial planner? If not, now is the time to start. Make an appointment before the end of the year to get started learning more about how to make goals and achieve them as well as receive tips to improve your finances right from the start.
2. Plan Holiday Expenses. The holidays can be a big drain on many people's wallets. Despite it being a planned event, all the travel, gifts, entertaining, parties, and decor can easily overwhelm many people. Take control of your holiday spending this year, though, by planning and budgeting in advance.
3. Craft a Bonus Strategy. Do you expect to get an end-of-year bonus or commission at work? What about a large holiday gift? If so, sit down now — perhaps with your new financial planner — and decide what to do with it. Remember, the best time to make a solid financial plan for windfalls is before the money is in your hand.
4. Make a Contribution. While some people reduce their retirement savings to pay for holiday spending, why not use this time to add more to your funds instead? Consider additional retirement contributions to be a gift to yourself and your partner. And because December has five weeks, you may see an extra paycheck — perfect for contributing without missing the money.
5. Check Your Balances. Spend a few moments before the year closes looking at your savings, retirement, and debt balances. Do a net worth calculation. You may find that you've saved more than you thought. Or you may find that your debt is higher than you thought. Whatever you discover, though, will prepare you better to make positive financial moves in the new year.
No matter what financial planning moves you can make between now and December 31, you'll end the year on a positive note. Start today by meeting with a financial planner in your state to get more recommendations and guidance.
For more information, contact a financial planner near you.