Personal Finance: Your Fall Financial Checklist
Remember those financial goals you set way back in January? With the holidays and the end of the year approaching, fall is a great time to revisit your goals and set straight any that may have gone awry. Here are four financial moves to make this season.
1. Build an emergency fund
Even a small amount cushions you against unexpected medical expenses, or home or car repairs. A high-yield online savings account is a good place to park your emergency fund.
If your emergency savings are already in good shape, then use that paycheck to pay down credit card or mortgage debt, or put it toward next year’s spring break trip.
2. Boost your retirement savings
Are you maximizing your 401(k) contributions? Now is a good time to consider increasing your contributions for the rest of this year.
Your minimum goal should be to contribute enough to get any employer match your company offers. If your company’s match is 50 cents for every dollar you contribute up to 6% of your salary, for example, increase your contributions to at least 6% to take advantage of that benefit.
3. Budget for Black Friday
Ready or not, the countdown to Black Friday is on, and now’s the time to boost savings for a few well-planned splurges. Last year, shoppers spent $289, on average, on Black Friday and the following weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.
Setting up a weekly automatic transfer of $25 from your checking to your savings account beginning Sept. 1 will give you $300 to spend on Black Friday.
4. Use technology to pay off debt
If your 2020 goals included reducing debt, and you’re not quite where you want to be at this point, check out tech tools designed to organize your accounts and get rid of debt faster.
Unbury.Me is a free web tool that shows when you’ll be debt-free based on current balances and payments. Move the slider bar to adjust monthly payments to see how to shorten the payoff time and save on interest charges.
Aim to navigate the holidays without a financial hangover - also known as bills and debt.