As the year comes to a close, a certain fat man isn’t the only one who should be making a list and checking it twice. With the holidays taking up the majority of our attention, sometimes we forget to take stock of some other aspects of our lives. Foremost, we let our finances fall by the wayside. That’s why this year, we’re encouraging you to examine your finances and use this handy checklist to make sure you’re ready to ring in the new year on financially stable ground.
- Review your financial plan –
How much money did you spend this year? What did you spend it on? Now, we’re not saying you must catalog each and every purchase, but it is a good idea to know how much you spent on large purchases or reoccurring purchases. Did you spend approximately $100 on groceries each week? That’s something to take note of. Did you make a large purchase like replacing an appliance or upgrading your home? While you might not make the same purchase next year, it is good to know if you will be making payments on said purchase. Now is also the time to make sure your emergency account has the money in it to cover you in case an emergency should arise. The key to success? Be honest with yourself. If you need help making a financial plan for the next year, one of our team members at Columbine FCU will be more than happy to help.
- Get a head start on your taxes –
Yes, we know Tax Day is still months away, but it never hurts to be prepared. You can take a look at your current situation to know whether you need to save some money for taxes or if you think you might be getting a refund. Now is also a good time to look at how much you are withholding from your paycheck. Do you need to alter it?
- Review your credit/debt –
This can go hand-in-hand with the first item on the list. Take a look at your credit card debt and any other debt you may have. How are you doing at paying it off? How do you plan to continue paying it off in the coming year? Once again, be honest with yourself. If you need help with debt or want to discuss your credit, don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Review your insurance needs –
Did you get a new car this year? Did you have a child? These and many other things can cause you to need to update your insurance. From needing new auto insurance, to life insurance policies, now is the perfect time to review your current policies and to consider where you may be lacking the proper coverage.
- Donate to charity –
The holidays are surely a time to give. That’s why the end of the year is a great time to make charitable donations. Not only are you doing a good deed, but they can also be tax deductible.
- Start planning for the future –
You’re already looking ahead but look even further. Are there purchases you’ll need to make in the coming year? Do you want to get married? Go on a dream vacation? Buy a house? All of these things and more require substantial financial planning. And as we’ve said before, you can never be too prepared.
By looking at your financial future in the present, you won’t relive the mistakes of your past. Once you’ve gone through the items on our checklist, you’ll be more prepared to take on what the new year brings. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you need more advice or counseling, we here at Columbine FCU are happy to help.