There are a lot of money tips that you can look into which can help you manage your finances a little better. But if you are looking for a reason to start doing it now, you might want to use the date to get you off the couch and start getting serious with your money. It is already what a lot of people refer to as “ber” months meaning the year is about to end.
As year end approaches, it might be a good time to take a look back at how you did with your finances and see how you can close out the year with a positive financial standing. You might be too focused on increasing your income, lowering debt or even giving money lessons to your kids and they are all excellent financial priorities. But you sometimes need to take a step back and get your bearings in order to get your finances running smoothly.
As the year is just a few months from wrapping up, it is much better to end the year and welcome the coming new year in good standing. You can look at what you set out to accomplish at the start of the year and see if you are on track in achieving them or if you need to make some adjustments with the way you handle your money to get there.
You might be scared as Statisticbrain.com shares that the average savings amount of American families is just a shade below $4000. That is not really enough to make life changing decisions and it might be a good idea to get that up before the year ends. And to do this, there are money tips that consumers can look into to help them reach their goals before the year ends.
Money moves before year end
There are a few tips that can help you with your finances before the year comes to a close. Here are some of them that will surely get you to a better financial standing.
- Try to strengthen your retirement fund. You need to make sure that you have enough money for your retirement needs and starting as early as possible and saving as much as possible is a great start. Take a look at your target amounts every year and benchmark them with your actual savings and you get the big picture.
- Check the level of your emergency fund. Your emergency should be able to lift you out of those unexpected financial troubles like losing a job or having a sick family member. The idea is to have about six-month’s worth of funds to cover anything from a busted tail light of your car to getting laid off and looking for a new job.
- Look at your bank accounts. It is advisable to check your savings or checking accounts from time to time to ensure that they are at healthy levels. This can be determined based on the expenses on your budget and if you have a target that you set out early on in the year. Just like if you are using your checking account to make automatic payments for loans, you need to maintain a buffer amount to cover unexpected costs.
- Update your will as needed. Forbes.com explained the value of having a will and updating the document as time goes by because amending that small document can go a long way in ensuring those who will be left behind are taken cared for. This might be a good time to look over that will or get started with a draft if you don’t have one yet.
- Review monthly costs. You need to be able to manage your budget on a monthly or even weekly basis but as the year ends, you might want to go a step further and try to negotiate your bills with suppliers. You can call your cable provider for example and see if they can lower down your monthly payment for being on-time all the time with the payment. It might also be possible that you have better credit score now that when you took out loans so calling your lenders to see if there is a way to lower down the interest rate won’t hurt your ego.
- Review your spending pattern. You might also want to take a good close look at how you are spending your money and see if there are ways to be more prudent with it. if you see that you have been putting a significant amount over the months for coffee in the morning, it might be wiser to brew your own cup in the morning at home before leaving for work. If you have been eating out almost every other month because you just feel like it then it might pay off to take up cooking as a new hobby and eat at home.
- Plan the next vacation. Planning your next vacation can be more beneficial than you think. Apart from being able to plan ahead for all the trip’s details, it gives you two distinct things – it gets you excited and gives you something to look forward to on bad days. Getting excited about something gets you to accomplish it faster whether it is just getting all the details in order or even saving up for it. The second one which is having something to look forward to works great as a mental reminder and gets you have something to look forward to when you are feeling down and out.
- Put together financial assignments. You might hate the word assignment because of how it reminds you of high school and college but it can get you to focus more especially when you are trying to achieve something specific before the year ends. This is actually one of the money tips you can take on to help you reach a particular financial objective. If you need to save a specific amount every day for the next few weeks then take that assignment on very seriously.
Mistakes you cannot afford to make
As you go and try to look at your finances before the year comes to a close, there are a few mistakes you cannot afford to make as you gear up and close the year right.
- Blowing everything you have on presents. The holidays are about to do a number on your budget and you need to have a plan on how much to allocate for gifts to be given to family and friends. If you don’t make a budget, you can end up spending all those savings you worked so hard for early in the year.
- Taking up a lavish and expensive vacation. NYTimes.com shares that consumes are taking less and less vacations but you might feel the sudden urge to splurge because you feel you deserve it. Be careful with this because if you have an amount budgeted for the trip, try to not spend more that you should to stay on budget.
- Adding to your debt. The last thing you need is to add to your debt and loans as the year closes. Be careful in using your card to the point that you max out your limit. You might also be tempted to buy a new car because everyone else is buying one with their office bonus as a downpayment on the car.
There are money tips that can help you close the year right especially with your finances because you do not want to feel down and out as the holiday approaches and start the next year deeper in the red.