This post is excerpted from our Ultimate 2014 Financial Calendar.
As any five-year-old will tell you, the holidays are all about presents. Toys for your kids, ties for your dad, squeaky stocking stuffers for furry family members.
But what about giving yourself a treat this holiday season—like the gift of financial progress? Perhaps we’re biased, but here at LearnVest, we think there’s no better feeling than knowing you’re on track to hit your money goals.
To that end, we’ve rounded up some to-dos to consider tackling before the ball drops in Times Square.
So make like it’s Christmas morning and unwrap the five little nuggets below. Happy holidays!
To-Do #1: Review Your Retirement and Brokerage Accounts
Reexamining your portfolio on a regular basis can be a crucial step to being a savvy investor. Sounds intimidating? Don't worry—an investing checkup only takes a few minutes. And if you find that your portfolio could use some fine-tuning, set aside time to review our guide to rebalancing. And consider consulting a financial professional to see if there are any specific to-dos you need to accomplish before year’s end.
To-Do #2: Learn to Budget—Your Time
You may already be a money management ninja—but how are your time management skills? The end of the year is a great opportunity to reevaluate the way you spend each day. Maybe you want to cut back on your work hours so you can pick up your kids from school. Or perhaps you want to spend more time at the office so you can snag that big promotion. This exercise, designed by a work-life balance expert, can help you put things in perspective.
To-Do #3: Put a Plan in Place for Your Holiday Bonus
Some employees are lucky enough to receive a holiday payout in addition to a potential performance-based bonus at the end of the year. LearnVest recommends that you take 10% of the sum to have some fun—and then allocate the other 90% toward one or more of your financial priorities, such as beefing up your emergency fund.
To-Do #4: Revisit Your Budget
Way, way back in January, you set up a monthly budget for 2014. Now’s the time to review your progress. Were you unrealistic with your goals? Was there a particular area where you consistently struggled? But try not to be too hard on yourself—celebrate the progress you’ve made, and learn from your mistakes so you can do even better in 2015!
To-Do #5: Set New Money Goals
Perhaps you’re planning to start a family, or you’re thinking about trading in your one-bedroom pad in the city for a spread in the suburbs. Once you figure out your main financial objective for the coming year, you can focus on creating a concrete and actionable plan to help make your dreams a reality by this time next year.
LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc., that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.