Planning Financially for the Coming Year

Wed, Dec 17, 2014

Bankruptcy, Debt Mitigation

Some rights reserved by 401(K) 2013Now’s the time to get a jump-start on next year’s finances. A little planning now can help create a financial sense of security that sees you into next year. What could you do to plan ahead?

First off, take stock of your current financial health. What debts do you owe? What bonuses might you receive at the end of the year? Can these help balance each other out? Where would you want to apply that yearend bonus if you don’t need to knock out some debt?

Once you know where you stand financially this year, make sure you know what’s ahead. If you do have some debt to get rid of, is that the best idea? On the other hand, does your retirement fund need funding? Perhaps you have a medical procedure coming up…should you save it for that? Taking stock of next year’s needs is a great way to get ahead. You’ll know where your money is best spent.

How did you do with your spending this year? Where could you do better? Once you know what money is coming in, where it needs to go, and what is left over you can better take stock of where you could do better next year. Once you see where you stand, could you save more? Spend less? What’s going to change in the coming year? Are you going to get a raise? Will that help counteract your deficits? Alternatively, do you need to look for a new job? A second job? Do you need a new place to live that better fits your budget?

Then do a check up on your retirement accounts. Don’t have one? Consider one. Can you get one from work? Is the one you have working for you? Should you start a new one?

And how is your tax prep going? Tax time is still a bit of time away, but it doesn’t hurt to know where all your paperwork is. Did you keep good records? Should you at least begin to organize it?

If you are saving for college funds, how can you revise that saving? Do you need to adjust how you allocate your funds? If vacation is what you are saving for, how much did that special vacation change in price? Do you need to add $1000 to that fund before you go?

Could you brush up on your couponing? Watch a few shows or read some articles on that? Or do you really need to figure out how to save on medical procedures rather than spaghetti sauce? This is different for everybody and there’s always a resource you can use to find out where to save on something. Check them out.

How’s your will? Still accurate? What about your life insurance? Is it up to par? Do you need more? Less? Is the health insurance going to work for you for another year? What could you do better at?

Knowing what lies ahead and learning from the past is critical to your financial wellbeing. It’s important to always be prepared and well armed with knowledge to keep your financial health in good shape.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more.  SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

Image: Some rights reserved by 401(K) 2013

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