The season of overindulgence has begun.
The holidays are truly around the corner, and just as you know you're likely to eat too much turkey and stuffing, you also know you're likely to be too tempted by those extra stocking stuffers in the checkout aisle.
Instead of getting caught off guard with your spending, tackle these key money to-dos to help ensure you're on target with your financial goals.
1. Face Your Financial Fears. Deadline: Monday, November 2nd
Halloween may be over, but there's no time like the present to buck up and tackle your fears head on—especially those of the money variety. Whether you're in the dark about estate planning or want to ramp up your credit-card debt payments, evaluate where you stand on these four key financial tasks to see where you can improve.
2. Prioritize Open Enrollment. Deadline: Saturday, November 7th
If you have health coverage through your employer, make sure you know your open enrollment deadlines, as your window for making 2016 elections is narrowing by the day. And if you're going through HealthCare.gov, you need to make your selections by December 15 in order to have coverage beginning January 1, 2016.
Overwhelmed by all the options on your plate? Read up on the health care benefits changes on the horizon for 2016; questions you're not asking your benefits rep—but should; common enrollment mistakes to avoid; and everything else you ever wanted to know about open enrollment.
3. Pull Your Credit Report. Deadline: Saturday, November 14th
Have you drafted your holiday gift list and checked it twice? If not, you should do it soon to keep your shopping organized and help curb any splurges. One other thing you should check? Your credit report. Pull your third and final free report for the year from one of the major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax or Experian. And don't be that one American in five with an error on your report—here's how to dispute a mistake if you spot one during your checkup.
4. Plan Your Charitable Donations. Deadline: Saturday, November 21st
If you included charitable giving in your budget, strategize how to make your contributions before the end of the year. After all, research highlights the correlation between generosity and positive health outcomes, like stress-reduction and lower blood pressure—and of course there are always the tax benefits. Read what one expert has to say about how to donate with impact.
5. Re-evaluate Your Budget. Deadline: Saturday, November 28th
With Thanksgiving come and gone, we've officially made it to the heart of holiday shopping season. That said, this time of year can leave your shopping carts full and your wallet drained. Think your numbers could use some reining in? Take inspiration from one woman's quest to trim her holiday spending.
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.