It's the end of the year, and amid all the celebrating and best-of lists, it's time to get in a few smart financial moves before the new year begins. Consider the following suggestions to end your year in a financially strong position, setting yourself up for success in 2018.
One of the easiest things you can do is maximize your end-of-year retirement contributions. Even if you increase your 401(k) contributions by just a percentage point or two, the extra contribution may add up in the long run. You may not even notice the difference in your paycheck, especially if you receive a salary increase shortly thereafter.
If you are lucky enough to get a holiday bonus, make it work for you. Enjoy a small splurge with a percentage of it, but be sure to use most of it to reach your financial goals. If you have credit card debt or student loans, funnel most of your bonus money towards those bills. If you are debt free, congratulations! That means you can consider opening a Popular Direct Plus Savings Account or CD and allow the money to grow.
Take some time to analyze your investments and revisit your allocations. Rebalance your investments, especially if you haven't done so since last year. There are free, automated investment trackers that can be found online, or you can use a computer or hard copy spreadsheet.
If you have unused money in a Flexible Spending Account through your employer, do your best to use it before the end of the year. If you have no reason to visit your doctor, check your plan for an approved list of covered items that you may be able to purchase, such as contact lens solution, a knee brace, or a humidifier.
Lastly, compare where you are now to where you planned to be when you mapped out your finances for the year back in January. Have you met or at least made tangible progress towards your goals? Were your goals too lofty, and should you consider adjusting and scaling back in the coming year? Making realistic plans is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your finances for the coming year.
The information mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only, is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Each person's situation is unique and may materially differ from the information provided herein. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant and/or legal counsel to address your specific needs before any financial or other commitments regarding the issues related to your situation are made. Popular Bank does not make any representations or warranties as to the content contained herein and disclaims any and all liability resulting from any use of or reliance on such content.
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