8 Money Moves You Must Make Before 2018
Let us be among the first to put the new year on your radar, because believe it or not, there are some end-of-the year financial tasks that you should think about getting started on right now.
In a few months, you’ll likely be inundated with posts, articles and videos about how you can make 2018 the best year yet. But why wait until after Jan. 1 to get your money in order for the new year?
Get the Most Out of Your FSA
“Make sure you book all your medical appointments before the end of the year, before your deductible resets in January (as many, but not all, do). This will also give you a chance to spend any Flexible Spending Account (FSA) money you haven't used yet.”
— Pamela Capalad, Founder & Financial Planner at Brunch & Budget
Review Your Monthly Expenses (and Make Adjustments Now)
“Thinking about next year’s goals is always an exciting process. But before you get so caught up in the future, know that the end of the year is a crucial time to assess if you're paying way too much on your monthly expenses.
“Reviewing your insurance policies (life, auto, homeowner's), household bills and other expenses can often reveal areas where you can save big in the coming year.”
— Jeff Rose, CFP® of Alliance Wealth Management, LLC
Look into Tax-Loss Harvesting
“Reduce your taxes on investment gains. While you shouldn’t undercut your investment plan or goals to reduce taxes, tax-loss harvesting is when you offset the taxable capital gains that you’ve had throughout the year on your investments by selling investments that have lost value.
“The realized capital losses help to reduce the taxes owed on the gains. This has to be done by Dec. 31.”
— Mary Beth Storjohann, CEO & Founder of Workable Wealth
Build a Better Budget
“It doesn't matter if you’re a thousandaire or a millionaire: Everyone needs a budget. If you’re not sure where your money is going, the solution is the b-word. Budget! Commit the last few months of the year on figuring out the best budget or cash-flow program for you and your family so you can start 2018 on the right financial track. The best budgeting tool I've found is YNAB.com.”
— Rianka R. Dorsainvil, CFP®, Founder and President of Your Greatest Contribution, LLC
These experts raise important points and critical money moves to make that can help you grow wealth — and stay wealthy.
But we don't just earn, save and invest our money. Most of us want to help others, and that leads us to mindfully give some of our wealth to causes that matter to us, too.
The end of the year is a great time to consider making charitable contributions to reduce your tax obligation and give back to society. Charitable giving is also a great educational tool and a fun way to get the whole family involved.
Here’s how: Ask your children to research organizations on a site like Charity Navigator and propose a charity to donate to this year.
Not only are you helping to develop good money habits in your kids from an early age, but you're including them in important conversations that can bring your family closer together.
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About the Author
Taylor Schulte, CFP
Founder and CEO, Define Financial
Taylor Schulte, CFP®, is founder and CEO of Define Financial, a fee-only wealth management firm in San Diego. In addition, Schulte hosts The Stay Wealthy Retirement Podcast, teaching people how to reduce taxes, invest smarter, and make work optional. He has been recognized as a top 40 Under 40 adviser by InvestmentNews and one of the top 100 most influential advisers by Investopedia.