With two months remaining in 2019 it might seem you have forever before you need to worry about starting on your financial plans for next year. Don’t waste all of this time before the end of the year. Start planning now to make next year better financially.
Why is now an important time to get started?
Getting most of your planning activities completed before Thanksgiving will ensure that you don’t let the holidays interfere with any real planning. There are so many distractions after Thanksgiving that getting any meaningful planning completed doesn’t usually happen until early January, which puts you behind on your goals for the coming year.
Besides the distractions of the holidays, is there another reason this time is ideal?
Many companies will be completing their annual enrollments for employee benefits so you really need to have an idea of how your life plans for next year might impact your enrollment in different benefits. Planning now will help you make better decisions on your benefit choices.
What should be the first planning activity to complete?
It starts with identifying a few broad ideas to consider as goals for 2020 – reducing debt, increasing savings, making a major purchase (home, car) and considering the impact of life events happening in 2020 such as marriage, new children or retirement. And if you have a significant other, this should be joint discussion.
After setting broad goals, we should be the next move?
Start gathering the information you need to set specific goals, making any financial move will require that you know information like current debt, maybe credit score, and even what the impact will be on your budget if you make a major purchase
Are there potential difficulties in gathering any of this needed data?
Yes, it might be that you don’t have the expertise to get this data and might need to seek input from a subject matter expert. For example, to know how much you can borrow for a home, you probably need to talk to a mortgage professional. Not that it’s difficult, it just takes a little time.
Should we try to accomplish all of this before Thanksgiving?
It is not necessary to be finished before Thanksgiving but if you have a good start, you will certainly be able to finalize your goals and have a great plan developed before mid-December. Then you can relax and enjoy the rest of the year and be financially ready to make 2020 even better than 2019.