Believe it or not, 2019 is right around the corner. With a little over a week left in 2018, there are some financial moves you can still make to get a jump on the new year. We all know ’tis the season for excessive spending, but we’re ready to think ahead to New Years’ resolutions, financial goals, and tax season. May the final days of 2018 is merry, bright, and financially fit!
Money Moves to Make Before the Year Ends: Twitter Chat
Q1: What should you start doing to get a head start on preparing for tax season?
A1: 1. Maintain Central Repository of Critical Documents
Make sure that record of documents such as bank statements, expense receipts are clearly organized and accurately updated. Also, critical deductions must be laid out clearly. Irrespective of receiving the T4, statements such as student loan payments, investments and a host of other documents are also required to fill out the return. A bunch of documents will start reaching out to you in January, so assemble them in a convenient location. While filling out a return, it will avoid the frustration and increase the chances of earning all of the credits you deserve.
- Analyze the Past Returns to Prepare for Tax-Season Early
Failing to make an early start on taxes can kick-off you during the tax-season. Filling out tax returns brings up a plethora of questions. Examining properly past returns can help to check out the questions that you didn’t have time for last year. Gather all of the information required for filling the sources of deductions and status. Listing out the sources of income such as banks, employers, and mutual funds in advance can help in preparing tax report accurately in the one go.
Q2: What are some financial goals you should be setting for the new year?
A2: Write out your budget every month.This may seem like a simple goal, but writing a spending plan each month is the first step in getting control of your finances. If you can write out your budget each month, and put every dollar you earn in a specific place you will begin to win financially. This helps you realize just where you are each month. It allows you to decide how you want to spend your money instead of just letting it
Q3: What’s a good way to track your monthly payments for memberships and subscriptions?
A3: Utilizing phone apps for budgeting can be a great tool. Some ideas might be YNAB (you need a budget), Mint, Wally, Level Money, Good Budget, Unsplurge, Everydollar and Personal Capital. Do some research on these apps and always be careful when adding personal information (SSN, address and account numbers).
Q4: How do you calculate your net worth?
A4: Make a list of all of your assets and their estimated value. Make a list of all of your debts and subtract. It’s as simple as that!
Q5: How often should you be changing your passwords for all your accounts?
A5: We say at a minimum every 60 days and more often if you suspect anything out of the ordinary.
Q6: What should you be looking for when checking your credit report?
A6: Any information that may be incorrect. This could be in the form of a missed payment that was not actually late, or accounts that are not yours.
Q7: What are some ways to lower your fixed expenses?
- A7: Call your utility company for an audit and to learn about ways to save energy
- Downsize telephone calling features, service plans; choose a landline or a cell, rather than both
- Reduce television programming levels, bundle with other services, or cancel entirely
- Cancel your internet service and access it at the library, a friend’s home, or at work during breaks
Q8: Any final tips on money moves to make before the end of the year?
A8: If you have the ability, make sure you are maximizing the amounts you can contribute each year your HSA, and retirements.
Answers to the Twitter Chat were provided by LSS Financial Counselor Katie Eastman.