As we all struggle to make it through the holiday season, the hectic schedules, and the overspending we may tend to do, there are some other things you need to be thinking about to keep your financial wits about you.
After the New Year, everyone is gearing up for tax time but now is the time you need to be thinking about your taxes and getting better prepared to get the most back in the new year.
Here are some key things you can do to maximize your time before the new year that can save you both money and migraines when April arrives.
1. Call Up Your Accountant Now
As tax time draws closer, your accountant will become less available and less focused on your financial situation. You stand a better chance of getting some one-on-one time with them than after the new year starts. It will be important for you and your account to review your income and your current tax deductions to make sure you know where you stand. Make sure you go over a list of any new or changes in acceptable deductions for the year. As a licensed professional, they should be up to date on all important changes and should be able to advise you on how to make sure you are taking advantage of all of your options.
2. Get to Donating
If after speaking to your accountant you discover you might have too much taxable income throughout the year, you might want to consider donating some cash to your favorite charity. It is a good time to make such offerings as many holiday-related assistance programs like food pantries and programs for underprivileged kids need gifts and monetary donations during the holidays, especially this year when the economy is causing chaos all across the country.
3. Wisely Stash Your Christmas Bonus
It does not necessarily have anything to do with taxes, but it is a financially sound idea to make a plan for your Christmas bonus. Instead of spending it outright on Christmas gifts, do not even figure the amount into your holiday budget. Instead tuck away the extra cash and start an emergency fund you can keep adding to in the following year, especially if you anticipate a refund check. Since you might not have been planning for a bonus, it is a great time to practice the out-of-sight/out-of-mind theory and stash the cash before you can spend it. Having a nice starter sum can motivate you to keep making deposits and not withdrawals.
4. Go For Your Check Up
If you participate in a flexible spending account with your job, now is the time to squeeze in the last minute appointments with your doctors. While you have been putting some of your money into these accounts over the year, you will likely lose the money if you are not using the money. Check in with your family physician, your dentist, and your eye doctor and use as much of the money as you can before the New Year begins. If you don’t plan to do any of these check ups in the future, you may want to talk with your human resource representative about no longer participating in this plan and use the money elsewhere.