10 Financial Tips for Fourth Quarter
Fourth quarter is here, and that means there’s no better time to evaluate where you are versus where you want to be financially come the end of the year. Here are 10 financial tips for fourth quarter–follow these, and you’ll end the year strong!
#1 Review Your Year-to-Date Progress
Review your 2020 financial goals and assess what you’ve accomplished and where you are at in achieving your objectives.
Take note of what you still need to accomplish by the end of the year. Do you need to adjust your budget to meet these goals or cut back on expenses to meet debt-payoff or savings goals?
#2 Review Your Current Cash Flow
Taking a look at what you’re spending your money on helps you analyze what you can cut and apply it toward your retirement savings or your rainy day fund.
Even if it’s just a few extra dollars, every little bit helps.
#3 Contribute More to or Start Funding an Emergency Savings Fund
Having an emergency fund helps cover unexpected expenses without stressing, or having to borrow or carry a balance on your credit card.
If you have one, review your progress. Are you on track to meet your savings goals by the end of the year? If not, see what expenses you can cut to put more into your rainy day fund.
If you don’t currently have one, make a plan to set aside some money before the end of the year. Even a few hundred dollars can make a big difference if your car breaks down or the dog gets sick.
#4 Check Your Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
Many FSAs must be used by the end of the year. Do you have unspent money you need to use or you will lose it? If so, go ahead and make those doctor appointments you’ve been putting off.
Whether it’s getting a vision checkup, buying new glasses, or going to the doctor for a checkup, use your pretax dollars you put in your FSA account to get this done before you lose the money.
#5 Review Life Insurance Policies
Have you lost weight or stopped smoking this year? If so, review your life insurance policies and see if these life changes will help you get a better quote to save money.
Also, look for gaps in your policies. If you recently got married or had a baby, it’s important to make sure the payout amount covers your spouse or child should something happen to you.
While you’re at it, make sure your beneficiary information is still relevant.
#6 Review Homeowner and Auto Insurance
Evaluate whether or not your home and auto insurance coverage still makes sense for your needs. Now is a good time to review your home and auto deductibles and see if you can lower them to save money.
If your home has increased in value due to updates or additions, make sure to change the replacement value amount to reflect the new value increase.
For auto insurance, if you have any prior tickets or accidents that have fallen off this year, be proactive and get a new quote to see if you can save money.
#7 Review Your Credit Reports
There’s no time like the present to review your credit reports and ensure nothing is showing up that’s not yours.
Sadly, data breaches are only going to continue, so we recommend you regularly check your credit reports, credit card statements, and bank accounts.
There are also a variety of inexpensive identity theft monitoring services worth looking into.
#8 Update Beneficiaries
Fourth quarter is the perfect time to review all accounts with beneficiaries and make sure the information is accurate. If not, make the necessary updates as soon as possible.
This means checking the beneficiaries on your 401(k), IRA, life insurance policies, investment accounts, and checking and savings accounts.
#9 Assess Your Debt
The start of the fourth quarter is a good time to review your debt level and ensure you are on track to meet your debt-payoff goals for the year.
See where you can cut back on ancillary expenses and, instead, put that money toward eliminating more debt before the end of the year. While you’re at it, go ahead and create your debt elimination goals for 2021.
Call your credit card companies and see if they will lower your APR. Ask if they have a 0% offer where you can move high-interest debt onto a 0% card.
This will help save money in the long run since you won’t be paying high amounts of interest.
#10 Rebalance Your Workplace Retirement Account
This financial tip for fourth quarter may help you earn and keep more of your 401(k) investment.
If you aren’t rebalancing your account allocations, you may be missing out on earning more and keeping more of your hard-earned retirement savings.
Because unmanaged allocations may experience much larger losses in down markets and may miss the opportunity for growth during good markets.
We recommend rebalancing your account allocations every quarter, or four times a year. This way, you can make the appropriate changes in order to stay on course with your savings goals.