Financial Planning Tips For December

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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WealthBuilders, LLC is a virtual fee only fiduciary advisory firm specializing in working with high income professionals and business owners. 


5 Essential Financial Planning To Do’s In December

We are halfway into December which means your list of holiday to-dos and celebrations are probably in full swing. It may be the last thing on your mind, but it’s important to remain mindful of your financial plan as we close out the year, and to also look ahead to 2020. Here are a few tips to keep you on track through the rest of the holidays, while still allowing yourself room for some festive fun.

1. Max Out Your Benefits At Work

You still have time to adjust your 401k contribution and put in enough to take advantage of a company match. Use your PTO and take time off. Most PTO days can’t roll over into next year or be paid out. If you have a Flexible Spending Account use it before you lose it, 12/31. 

2. Save Your Year End Bonus

If you are expecting a year end bonus or commission check, stick to the 90/10 rule. Put 90% of your check towards your financial goals (payoff debt, retirement, college fund, etc.). While it’s tempting to purchase that new car or go on shopping spree, consider your financial priorities before making any major decisions. Splurge selectively and enjoy 10% for yourself.

3. Control Holiday Shopping Sprees

Your hard earned money might be burning a hole in your pocket during this jolly time. According to a study performed by the American Research Group, Inc., the average American spends $882 on Christmas presents. Most of this is put on a credit card vs. cash. Be practical with your spending. If you don’t have your retirement plan funded, credit card debt under control or emergency account fully funded, think twice about overdoing it. And maybe your friends and family are in the same spot? It could be worth exploring putting limits on gifts, doing a white elephant exchange, giving back to the community or and/or just enjoying each other’s company instead of traditional gifting (which often leads to overspending!). Who knows, maybe you start a new tradition that is less costly, but just as much fun!

4. Charitable Giving

Tis the season to give to charity, so whether you’re a once per year kind of person or there’s a cause you give to consistently, get your donations in by the end of the year. If you hit the 12/31 deadline, you may be able to deduct those donations on your 2019 taxes.

5. Set Your 2020 Personal and Financial Goals

Set aside a some time and write out your goals. I do this annually and it’s done wonders for my personal and business life. Your goals should be SMART Goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and bound by a time limit. So instead of setting a vague goal to save more money, you should set specific goals that incorporate your financial plan to get there. Going through your finances at the end of the year gives you a good starting point to build those goals from. This will help you stay focused as you kick off a brand new year.