Money moves to make before the end of the year


With less than 30 days remaining in 2018 you might be content to push any financial matters into 2019. That would be a big mistake because there are a few key money moves you should consider before the end of the year.
Are there any savings opportunities that should be considered?
If you are contributing to a health savings account, 401k account or a 529 college savings all three should be on the table. These all have tax implications and it might be worth making additional contributions but you only have until 12/31/18 to make contributions to these accounts.
What is a common overlooked employee benefit?
One of the biggest is flexible spending accounts.  If you have any flexible spending dollars remaining you will want to be sure to use them before the end of the year. Most FSA’s are use it or lose it when it comes to your contributions. If you have a medical FSA, then scheduling preventive procedures before year end might make financial sense.
Are there any other employee benefit moves to make?
Before it’s too late to make changes, make sure you review all of your options for health insurance and other related benefits offered by your employer. Don’t just sign up for what you always have had in the past. You might be able to lower your health insurance cost or obtain better coverage based on what you think will be happening with your and your family’s health in 2019.
What about any other moves that might help with taxes?
This year it is especially important to look at your tax situation. For some people, they will want to make any charitable contributions before the end of the year. It might also be a good time to look at investment gains and losses. Always talk to your accountant when dealing with tax related items to be best advisor on your situation.
What is the biggest financial threat in December?
Holiday spending is a major threat to everyone because most don’t really do any holiday planning. Just a little planning for the holidays can be a very big dividend heading into the New Year. It might be one of the most important financial moves to make in December.
How can someone quickly determine if 2018 has been a success or not?
Develop a big picture view of your current financial situation and evaluate your progress towards some of your major goals. It can be as simple as calculating your net worth at the beginning of the year and where you are today. This simple calculation can let you know where you should focus your financial efforts in 2019.

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