We’re getting close to the end of the year so I think it’s a good time to review how to set yourself up for success for next year. Here are some end-of-year money moves you should make.
Year in review
I think it’s important to reflect on the year that has been – financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. If you’re not evaluating your progress as a human, I think you are doing yourself a disservice.
We’ll stick with the finance side of things in this article. Did you achieve the goals you set out to reach when the year started? If you had a goal to pay off debt, did you? If you had a goal to increase your savings rate for retirement, did you?
I think that’s important for two reasons. One, you review your progress to see if you were successful or not. Two, you use this year’s progress to help set your target for next year. If you achieved your goal, you can set a higher target for next year. If you didn’t, maybe keep the same goal and try to hit it next year.
It’s also a good idea to review your investment/retirement portfolio at the end of the year. If you’re investing your retirement savings, there are some sectors or asset classes that performed better than others throughout the year. If that’s the case with your portfolio, the percentage you’re at now is probably different from where you started.
Typically, I like to leave it be, but if you’re in a stage of life where you have to be more selective, then being overweight in a risky asset is probably not a good idea. When you review your investment portfolio make sure that you’re still in good shape with regard to your risk tolerance and time horizon, and you’re pleased with your account’s performance.
Set goals for next year
After you review your progress from this year, set your goals for next year. If you saved more than you set out to at the beginning of the year, use the ACTUAL savings as your goal for next year. If you paid off some debt, redirect toward another one.
What happens if you don’t have any more debt? Congratulations! Then make sure your emergency savings are adequate. If it’s sufficient, beef up your retirement savings or something else you’re saving for.
When you’re making your money moves for next year, make sure you’re designating time to assess your progress throughout the year.
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