Annual Financial Planning: Pass the test?
As the end of the year approaches now is a good time to look ahead and get ready for the next year and focus on how you need to change to make things happen. It might be weight loss, more family time, or even better spending and saving habits.
So, let’s focus on better spending and saving habits. Here are a few suggestions:
Pay yourself first. This is easy enough to do with payroll deduction for retirement plan savings at work. It’s also possible to auto deduct from your checking account into your investment or savings account too. Automatic savings has been shown to be a superior tool for reaching financial independence ahead of expected timeframes like age 65 or 67.
Snowball your debt. There are several internet tools to help you redirect payments to get out of debt quicker and pay lenders less interest. We like whatsthecost.com, financialmentor.com/calculator, and undebt.it. These tools will help you prioritize your payments and get out of debt faster and cheaper.
Take tax deductions. Especially now that the tax code may change it’s important to see what new tax deductions are available to you or whether old ones are expanded or go away at your income level. Paying for dependent care or medical expenses with pre-tax dollars at work can mean more money available for saving for other goals like retirement or college.
Do more stuff that’s free. There’s a lot of things to do for free in each community. Many travel websites or community bulletin boards promote these activities. This is especially good for families to help them save on their vacations or just time off while staying around home.
Read Personal Finance blogs. We like thesimpledollar.com, dailyworth.com, mrmoneymustache.com, and getrichslowly.com. For high net worth earners, we enjoy thewhitecoatinvestor.com who focuses on doctors, but most of the content applies to all types who make the big bucks. Exposing yourself to new ideas or old ideas packaged a different and more interesting way will help motivate you.
Finally, in order to access your personal financial status for the end of year planning, we have a test. Click test to take the test, tell us how you did. Comments and results to firstname.lastname@example.org