End of the year roundup. On Target or No??
As we approach the end of the year, yes October should be signalling the end of the year, it is th perfrect time to make annual adjustments regarding financial goals, wealth and well being acccordingly. And these things may range from how much you intended to save, bills you meant to pay down, points on your credit score to improve upon or most important of all, your health and physical well being.
Typically, as far as finances go you should be balancing and rebalancing semi-annually just to make sure you are on
track with any goals from the beginning of the year. Usually some time around June or so, reviewing your 401k if you’ve got one, 529 plans, IRA’s, annual Christmas Club Saving Plan, (does anybody still do these?) and anything else you can think of that you need to stay on top of during the year. Make adjustments accordingly, increases, sell-offs, account closing and opening, etc. Are you headed where you want to be for based on half way through? If not, the middle of the year is a good time to check and correct. And, it is also a good time to start some of those things that fell off the table during the New Year’s resolution stage, which for me is typically the entire first three months. It sometimes takes that long to narrow down real reachable goals that I can measure and guide as the year goes on.
During the last quarter of the year, beginning Oct. 1, the same thing should occur with a bit more focus. Besides
getting caught up on all of the things and statuses of accounts, there’s the reality check for what can really be
accomplished in these last three months. Let’s say you’ve intended to save $100.00 per month with the intent of getting a stated interest, if you’re not at least half way there can you get there with what’s left of the year?
Readjusting goals is a normal practice and beats letting them go altogether. If you see you can at best end up with $900.00 for the year, readjust and make that happen. The satisfaction and benefits of accomplishment far outweighs giving up on your goals, even if only you know about it. If there are any investments or college savings plans you may have intended but never got around to, now is a great time to get ahead of the coming year and open new accounts with even the smallest amount. Many accounts for IRA’s, College Savings IRA’s and Mutual Funds will waive the initial investment of over a $1000.00 and let you get started for $25.00 to $50.00 if you pledge to make monthly automatic deposits. Speaking of automatic deposits, it’s been proven people save more with an automatic setup, (direct deposit, pretax, and auto-debit) than making manual deposits and investments. Having these plans and accounts in place already will allow you to follow through easier in the coming year.
For the hustler and entrepreneur in you, the last quarter marks the beginning of the next year as it relates to becoming prepared early. A true businessperson will need to familiarize themselves with and learn their industry, customer or client. Forward looking entrepreneurs can begin setting up their legal business structure, (C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC and Partnerships) gathering information on regulatory requirements for their particular business, focus on financing (often overlooked, personal credit is key as an entrepreneur as you may need to rely on this to back up the business as the business will have no history!) relevant credentials, marketing and start building out the foundation of the enterprise whatever that may be. Also, keep in mind that all of the costs and expenses that go into setting up the legal structure, market research, travel, courses, equipment, goods and stock, expenses related to building out or using office space in your home, and any other expenses related to getting the business up an running are tax deductible for the current year.
So being on your grind, you’re set to reduce your taxable income for this year and tax season is in 2 months. Get these started now and keep good records! Health Regimen. There will be no need to worry about financial prosperity except to pay the medical bills if there isn’t proper focus on health. Most important semi-annual and End of Year review if that of your health. Beginning with regular physical to dental and eye check up for the basics. Then there are the specifics based on your gender, age, race and habits -those dang habits, some good and some not so good. Whether it’s prostate checks or mammograms, get in focus early. Now’s a good time to start a routine and maybe review or tweak your health practices ranging from what you eat to how often you eat. I personally don’t believe in crash diets whatsoever, but tweak things as I go. A regular workout schedule and a decent diet will do for most people. just find what you like out of the stuff that’s good for you and have it often. Fighting off any preventable conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure that will steal your time, ability to focus on your prosperity and happiness or cost you the same money your working so hard to get is the way to go. I’d even consider changing my doctor if we can’t work out a plan to avoid a medication for an avoidable condition, he’s not helping me reach my goals. Also, gym time is a great investment, just don’t get lost paying for a gym you don’t go to although that’s how they make their money.
Finally, there’s plenty more to discuss but to summarize… Review what’s attainable and what’s not, be realistic of
course. Cut the losers and keep winners, whether it’s ideas or stocks and in some cases people activities and even jobs sometimes. Losers such as unnecessary medications, banks fees, high interest credit cards, finance fees, depreciating investments expensive cars or appliances with costly repairs, high media costs for cable and movie channels can all be losers, just sucking money away from you that can be better utilized. Winners like free checking accounts, low interest credit cards, (call them and ask, you may be surprised) increasing IRA contributions instead of poor 401k options, increasing retirement contributions with every raise, using money market accounts instead of savings accounts, reducing taxable liability by using FSA options and for eligible expenses are all winning moves. Quitting Early has an upside and may save lots of losses later on, that’s what reviewing is all about. Equally, Starting Early can give you the leg up and put you in position to prosper instead of trying to figure things out when the time comes.
Here are some money saving tools and routes to take to get set up for the coming year.
Start anywhere with any link above… just get started!