As 2017 comes to an end, its time to consider finishing up your goals and tying your loose ends together. December is a good time to review your finances, clean up your files, and prepare for the new year ahead! I have a habit of hoarding documents, receipts, and bills. Typically, they tend to be stuffed in a drawer throughout the year and are all cluttered and unorganized. Here are a few tips I have found to help me get organized and bring the year to a successful close.
One of the struggles I have year after year is knowing what to throw away and what to keep. Depending on the financial documents you have, it helps to separate them. You can use color coded folders, labels, or go paperless. There are plenty of apps and software that you can use for free. I’ve personally found “Mint” to be a sufficient app to organize your finances. Be sure to have a folder for tax documents such as investment statements, medical expenses, donations you’ve made throughout the year, as well as any documents that may pertain to your taxes.
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Contact your cell phone, cable, insurance, and utility providers. Even though it can be time consuming to wait on hold, you may be able to ensure a better rate for the new year which makes it well worth it. If you currently have a flex spending account, now may be a good time to submit outstanding claims. Depending on your policy, the funds may not carry over into the next year. Last but not least, consider starting a savings or increasing the amount of funds you apply to savings.
To create your budget for the new year, start by reviewing your bank statements. Look for patterns! Ask yourself “What did I purchase that was not needed?” This is an easy way to help you create a goal for your budget. For instance, I reviewed my bank statements and determined I spend too much money on discount store items I don’t need. One of my goals for 2018 is to apply half of what I usually spend to savings. The other half will be what I like to call my “dollar store fund!” Take a closer look at your credit card statements. It wouldn’t hurt to call your creditors to verify if you’re eligible for a lower payment or a promotional interest rate. Finally, make a habit of keeping your finances organized and tracking your budget.
The end of the year is a time to reflect, rather it’s financially or just with life in general. If all else fails and you need assistance Apprisen is always willing to help get you on track. Be sure to utilize the “Tools” section on the Apprisen home page to help you start tracking your budget. Start 2018 by creating healthy financial habits to make a beginning for your new year.