Your December 2016 Financial To-Dos

Your December 2016 Financial To-Dos

They’re finally here! If you’re like most people, you’ve been eagerly awaiting the end-of-year holidays and all the excitement that comes with them, from the sparkling decorations and stacks of gifts to the family reunions and home-cooked meals.

But amid all the festivities, it can be easy to forget that it's your last chance to make progress toward your 2016 financial goals. Now is the perfect time to nail down those last few to-dos so you can add your financial wellbeing to the list of things you have to celebrate.

1. Strategize Your Holiday Shopping

Deadline: Saturday, December 3

The official countdown to the holidays has begun, and if you haven’t made as much progress on your list of presents to buy as you were hoping, don’t stress. There’s still time to devise your plan of attack so you can not only get everything on your list but also stay within your budget. Check out these nine ways to get the best deals online and in-store, and then apply them on the best days to buy—and save—this holiday season.

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2. Decide Where Your Year-End Bonus Will Go

Deadline: Wednesday, December 7

Your hard work is about to pay off in the form of that coveted year-end bonus. But while your first instinct may be to put it all towards a vacation or shopping spree, take some time to think of the other ways that money can be put to good use. Here at LearnVest, we recommend using 10% on a splurge of your choice, and allocating the rest to your specific financial goals, from building up your retirement or emergency fund to paying down credit card debt or student loans.

3. Give Your Net Worth a Boost

Deadline: Tuesday, December 13

The year is almost over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still maximize your money for 2016. Whether you increase your 401(k) contributions, make an early mortgage payment or take the time to evaluate your investments, there’s still time to make some important money moves that could help you lower your debt or increase your assets before the year is up.

4. Take Time for Yourself

Deadline: Wednesday, December 21

'Tis the season to think of others, but it’s also important not to forget about yourself. Setting aside time to improve your mental and physical wellbeing during this hectic month is important not only to your health but also to your finances. Whether your “me” time includes seeing a movie, going for a long walk or even meditating, make a plan to unplug from the holiday chaos so you can feel fully recharged before it goes into full swing.

5. Max Out Your Employee Benefits

Deadline: Friday, December 30

If you haven’t taken full advantage of your employee benefits, this is your last chance—whether that means using up your FSA money or upping your 401(k) contributions to take advantage of the company match. These benefits can be a big part of your compensation package, so you don’t want to miss out.

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