We’re in the homestretch of 2015, and just like in sports, we want to finish out the season strong.
That's why now is the perfect time to tie up loose ends, follow through with current to-dos and accomplish those tasks you didn’t get a chance to complete earlier in the year.
We know, we know—your schedule is packed. But if you pencil in these small, yet important, financial moves now, it could help you start the new year with a fresh financial slate.
1. RSVP for Career-Boosting Holiday Parties. Deadline: Friday, December 4th
With holiday party invites streaming in this time of year, here’s your chance to use those gatherings to your advantage and grow your network. So check to see whether you've properly RSVPed to all the key shindigs happening this month. With the right strategies in tow, you could be rubbing shoulders with the company’s key players or getting to know strangers who can help determine your professional future.
2. Evaluate Your Holiday Spending. Deadline: Wednesday, December 9th
Whether you've finished your holiday shopping list with weeks to spare or you're still hitting the shelves for last-minute finds, it's time to do a quick pulse-check on your spending. Use our gift calculator to ensure you're shopping within your means. Need to trim some expenses? Get inspired by one woman's quest to keep her holiday budget in check.
3. Check Your Credit Score. Deadline: Wednesday, December 16th
You've likely been relying heavily on your credit cards to make those holiday purchases. So it may be a good time to check your credit score for free online at sites like Credit Karma or Credit.com to make sure it hasn't suffered any dings as a result. If it seems lower than the last time you checked, you can request a full credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—if you haven't already done so this year.
4. Determine Whether to Make Additional Retirement Contributions. Deadline: Monday, December 21st
Between company toasts and family gatherings, assessing your finances might not be top of mind. But with 2015 coming to a close, it's a good time to check whether there are any additional contributions to a 401(k) or IRA you can make now to help lower your taxable income. This is just one of several smart year-end moves that could help boost your bottom line for 2015.
5. Celebrate Your Financial Progress. Deadline: Thursday, December 31st
You made it! Ring in the New Year by patting yourself on the back for the smart money decisions you've made and the goals you've met over the past 12 months. (You may even opt to treat yourself to a small splurge.) Then take a moment to consider what worked and what didn't for your financial life in 2015, so that you'll be ready for your next big challenge: Setting your New Year's money resolutions.
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. LearnVest, Inc. is wholly owned by NM Planning, LLC, a subsidiary of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.