With only three months remaining in the year it might seem like there is little time to focus on any financial goals and yet there are a few that are important to consider. It really matters that you pay attention to your finances in the fourth quarter.
Why is setting goals for the fourth quarter so important?
There are so many distractions in last 3 months of the year and opportunities to let your money matters slide. Setting goals will help you stay focused and avoid being caught up in all the noise that elections, holidays and the end of the year bring.
What is an important savings goal that we should all set?
The most beneficial will be to make sure that you avoid hitting your emergency savings in order to fund your additional holiday spending. Decide that you will trim expenses rather than tap your savings because depleting your emergency fund for non-emergency is not a smart move.
How can we set goals for holiday spending?
It starts with building a special budget just for the holidays that includes gifts, travel and other expenses that are related to the holidays. The most important goal is that you stay at or below your holiday budget by finding ways to trim back on your holiday spending or trading services such as babysitting or pet care.
Should we be setting any goals for managing our debt?
Many people increase their debt by the highest amount in the last quarter of the year from purchasing gifts and buying for themselves. During the fourth quarter we should have a goal of maintaining our debt level and funding our holiday spending by reducing expenses in other areas of our life.
Is there a broad goal that we should focus on during this time?
The overall goal for the fourth quarter should be to review your financial situation and take appropriate actions. These actions can include: making tax deductible donations; reaching maximum retirement savings; acknowledging financial problems and getting help; and finally, reviewing your 2020 plan success and failures so that you can improve your performance in 2021.