1. Review Your Estate Planning Documents
The right estate planning could save you and your loved ones a lot of time and heartache in the event of a tragedy. Make sure that you have a living will (also known as a health care directive) set up, and review the beneficiary forms on your retirement accounts. If you have kids, you’ll also need to set up a will, and name a guardian for your children. Find out more about the estate planning documents that you need.
2. Book December Holiday Travel
The best time to buy airline tickets is on a Tuesday. Read our guide on the best way to save money on flights.
3. Pay Taxes if You’ve Filed an Extension
October 16th is the last day to submit your 2012 taxes if you’ve filed for an extension.
1. Check Your Credit Score
It’s the last of your quarterly credit check-ins!
3. Decide on Your 2014 Charity Budget
Review your charitable donations in the past year, and determine how you want to handle your donation next year.
4. Apply (or Have Your Child Apply) for Student Financial Aid
If you’re looking to apply for financial aid, get started on those forms now! The deadline is January 1. Here are the 15 essential things you need to know about financial aid.
1. Review Your Retirement and Brokerage Accounts
Before the end of the year, look at all of your investing accounts and rebalance if necessary. Check in with your accountant to find out if you should take any capital gains or losses before the end of the year.
2. Contribute to Charity
If you haven’t been giving to charity throughout the year, now’s the time. If you’re itemizing your deductions, your donations will reduce your year-end tax bill.
3. Use Your Holiday Bonus Wisely
Some companies give employees a holiday bonus (not to be confused with a year-end, performance-based bonus). If you’ve already budgeted and saved for holiday gifts, use this bonus toward your financial priorities, like maxing out your retirement accounts before the end of the year.
4. Look Back on Your Year in Money
What were your financial goals and accomplishments this year? How much progress did you make? Take the time to pat yourself on the back for making headway on goals, and plot your strategy for 2014.