Whether you like it or not, 2017 is closing out and we’re about to get into the new year. I know myself I feel like I just came up with a resolution for this year, which obviously failed pretty bad. Like most, I tried to lose weight, which I came out strong in the beginning of the year, but by summer, I had stopped going to the gym, continued to pay, and gained the weight I lost right back. This time, I will see if I can beat my record of keeping my resolution, so if you are in need of a check on your finances, this would be a good time to give them a once over before you can work on reducing expenses and increasing saving in 2018.
Review Your Credit Report
With the amount of fraud these days, it’s probably a good idea to review your information more often, but for the sake of at least staying on top of it, we’ll start with reviewing once a year. The major credit bureaus will offer a free copy of your full credit report annually by request, so you can review the information for accuracy. The only piece missing will be the score, which you can get in addition for a charge, but if you take a look at your credit card statement it will show your score on there, so you can see every month the changes, and if any stick out, you can take action and pull a new report.
Load and Shred Paperwork Laying Around
I’m not sure why I do save any paperwork, maybe because I’m afraid to throw any information away that lists my information, so by December, my desk drawer is piling up pretty good. By investing in a paper shredder, or even taking to the office to use theirs to dispose of your documents on company time, now is a good idea to scan any needed documents to your computer and shred all of the papers that have been piling up this year, and possibly still from last year.
Work on a Budget
If you currently are not using a budget you are not alone, as experts have said that two-thirds of the population do not in fact have a budget, but that doesn’t mean the majority are correct. The scary thing is that means there is a spending free for all going on, and most like there is more money going out instead of coming in. If you can look at previous debit or credit card statements to see how much you have been spending on expenses, food, gas, spending, or car accessories for girls, you can work on allocating funds, and work on reducing from there.
Put Together a Donation Pile
I just got the notification the other day that I can begin to enter in my tax information this year, so while we wait for our w-2’s and year-end paperwork to finalize, how about using the last couple weeks of the month to gather a donation pile so that you can take in and count as a tax write off this year before it’s too late. Cleaning out the clothes closet is a good place to start on items you no longer wear anymore, not to mention the basement storage for items that have been collecting dust from lack of use probably within the last decade or so.
Align Your Passwords
Now that all personal business is done online, you can have a login and password for every bill you need to pay, money you have, not to mention social media, and mine all seem to be different. Since you most likely frequently use them, at least once a month anyway, now would be a good time to align logins and passwords to try and match across the board. Some will not allow an email address, while others do, so maybe at least align like usernames.
Check Your Investments
Some may not check their investments as much others, while I probably check too much, but the end of the year can be a good time to check your investment performance, whether that is 401k, brokerage account, or college fund, to see if you are on track for your saving goals, or if you need to move funds around and tweak a little. If you are in it for the long haul it probably can only cause stress to look frequently, so much like your credit report, at least take a look once a year.