It’s time to start thinking about your year-end money strategy. Christmas and New Year’s are closer than you think. Use the following strategies to make the rest of the year count.
1. Clean out your closet. Ever feel tempted to head to the mall and buy new clothes because you just have *nothing* to wear? Clean our your closet and bring the cold weather clothes to the front before swiping your card. Remember to try old clothes on to make sure everything still fits, and donate appropriately.
2. Add holidays into your budget. Say you’ve followed your winter, spring and summer budget perfectly, then don’t forget that Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner. It’s easy to blow your budget on these holidays, so if you haven’t already, plan for them now.
3. Up your 401K. If you can afford another percent off your paycheck, why not up your retirement deductions? The more you save now, the more tax benefits AND the less you have to worry about the future. Throw another percent at it and watch it grow.
4. Spend your FSA dollars. Use it or lose it. You’ve already saved this money, so don’t leave it on the table. If you waste it, it’s your money you’re throwing away, not your employer’s!
5. Plan to use your vacation days. Using your vacation days is key to living a successful, balanced life. Even if you have a staycation, it’s critical to use your well-deserved days off. If you plan now, you can even save for a weekend getaway before the end of the year.
Life is all about balance. As the weather turns colder, it’s a great time to reflect on the money progress you’ve made throughout the past year and start focusing on small wins to finish the year right.