December is a crucial month for your ﬁnancial plan as you can take advantage of workplace beneﬁts or optimize bonuses and more. Here is a quick list you can use to help start the new year on a good note:
- If possible, max out workplace retirement plans (401(k), 403b, etc.). Use any unused PTO or FSA funds that expire this year.
- Email your CPA and get an estimate of how much you could potentially owe next year so you can start setting aside cash now.
- Save your year-end bonus (if applicable). Use the 90/10 rule. Save 90% and enjoy 10%.
- Control holiday shopping sprees. Be practical with your spending. If you don’t have your retirement plan or emergency account fully funded, or if your debt isnʹt under control, think twice before overdoing it.
- Whether you give consistently or certain times of the year, remember everything donated before December 31 should be tax-deductible for that year.
Set next year’s personal and ﬁnancial goals. Set goals that are S.M.A.R.T.
Significant – Goals that resonate with what is most important to you will keep you motivated and bring joy to your journey as you move toward your objectives.
Meaningful – Goals must align with your own values and priorities.
Attracting – When your goals are both significant and meaningful to you, they will create a positive image that will draw you toward what you want to experience and achieve. You won’t have to rely on pure grit and determination to achieve your goals, but rather the clear vision of what you want in your life will focus your intention and guide your decisions on a day to day basis.
Rewarding – We are more likely to move toward goals that bring us a clear sense of reward along the journey as well as in reaching the destination.
Timely – Do you have the time required to commit to a specific goal? In embarking on this journey, is the timing right for you? In considering these questions, it is important to realize that some goals should have specific target dates and others should not
Lastly, I recommend taking a mini retreat with yourself and partner (if applicable) to flush out your ideas and write them down. I personally do this and love the feeling of having a solid vision for the upcoming year.
If you are looking to elevate your financial plan or need help creating one, feel free to reach out to me.
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