Before you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take a step back and think of some things you should do before year’s end.
Get started with this checklist of potential to-dos:
- Review if you used all of your vacation time and personal days at work. Many employers allow you to roll over days (typically a week) into the next year, but if you have more than that, plan to use what’s left before December 31 instead of losing it.
- Have you met your medical insurance deductible? If so, you may want to consider squeezing in some appointments you might have put off.
- If you have a 401(k) retirement account, think about bumping up your contributions over the next couple of months. Even if you can only afford $25-$30 a week, that will still make a difference toward your retirement.
- Benefits enrollment time typically rolls around about this time of year. If that’s the case for you, take the time to carefully review your benefits and whether you can expect any premium increases next year. If you’re going to be faced with a substantial price hike, you might want to make some adjustments in coverage to offset the increase.
- Expecting a year-end bonus at work? Lucky you! Even if you have only a ballpark figure of what that “gift” will be, you can plan now how to use it, such as paying off bills, setting aside money for a down payment on a car, or creating a “rainy day” fund for emergencies.
- Do you have a flexible spending account? If yes, check the balance and if there’s any money remaining, consider how you might spend it before year’s end. And now’s a good time to determine if you’re putting too little or too much in the account.
- Dust off those holiday decorations you have in storage and figure out if any of them need updating (burned-out bulbs, broken pieces, etc.)
- If you haven’t already, work up a gift-giving list and, of course, check it twice to see if there are some who were more naughty than nice this year (wink, wink).
- Are you prepared for the cold clothing-wise? From boots to gloves, scarves to coats, it’s worth taking a few minutes to conduct an inventory of what needs to be replaced. And if you have items that no longer fit physically or style-wise, gather them together and donate them to a local shelter.
Lastly, with colder weather just around the corner, are you prepared for a weather emergency around your home or with your car? We’ll be providing tips for both situations in upcoming blogs, so stay tuned!