With 2016 winding down, now is a great time to think about some expert financial tips. These tips can help you close out the year on the right foot, while also making sure you’re in good shape for the coming year.
- Protect Yourself from Identify Theft. Identity theft is a huge problem and can destroy your credit as well as cost you thousands of dollars if you’re not careful. Credit problems can make it impossible for you to purchase real estate or even get the best insurance rates. Simple steps can help prevent identify theft. For example, always use strong passwords for online accounts. Don’t click on any unfamiliar links, and make sure that you check your credit report regularly.
- Make the Most of Workplace Benefits. If you have a job that offers benefits, it’s a good idea to know what’s available and how you can leverage those benefits to your advantage. For example, if your company offers flexible spending accounts or matching retirement account benefits, make sure that you’re using these financial tools wisely.
- Get a Jump Start on Your Year End Tax Preparations. Fall is a great time to review your withholdings and make any necessary adjustments for Q4 estimated tax payments. You can also use this time to maximize retirement contributions as well as review your charitable contributions. Consider cleaning out closets and making a tax deductible donation to a local charity.
- Evaluate Your Insurance Policies and Coverage. Many people purchase an insurance policy and never go back to review if they are getting the best rate. Now is a good time to review your options and make a switch, if necessary.
- Review Your Budget. Everyone should have a budget and fall is a good time to sit down and see how you’ve been doing throughout the year. Are you meeting your savings goals? Maybe you’ve had unexpected expenses and need to think twice about that holiday vacation you’ve been planning. Adjust your budget as necessary to meet your goals in the new year.