Written by: Danny Kofke, Motivational Mentor
As we pass the halfway point and approach the final quarter of each year, we often take a more scrutinizing dive into our financial outlook — and for good reason. The end of the year offers everyone time to reassess and see what changes they can make for the next year. Fortunately, financial wellness does not need to feel like rocket science. There are various common-sense methods to help you end the year better than you started it. So, let’s take a look at 6 things to do now in order to finish the year financially strong!
Assess your financial goals
Some people don’t have clear goals in place, while others are meticulous about drawing a financial roadmap. If you fall in the former category, try to come up with specific, attainable goals that align with your financial aspirations. Assuming you already have financial goals, and the end of the year is approaching, take steps to ensure that you meet those goals by the time December rolls around. This way, you can check these goals off your list and begin making new goals for the upcoming year.
Take a look back and see what you did well
It is very easy to get overly focused on mistakes you have made with your money. Perhaps you spent too much on non-essential expenses or you didn’t do enough to track your retirement contributions. While it is important to take note of missteps, you should also look back over the year thus far and figure out what you did right.
Ask yourself: What did I do well? What goals did I accomplish? Which financial achievements am I most proud of this year? By asking these questions, you can identify actions that improved your financial circumstances. In doing so, you can also highlight strengths of your own and turn one-off victories into habitual behaviors going forward.
Ask yourself: where can I improve?
As previously mentioned, it is not a good idea to dwell too much on your shortcomings. However, ignoring problems will not make them go away, either. So, be on the lookout for potential weak areas in your finances. Maybe you didn’t save as much as you wanted the past few months, or you have found unnecessary expenditures in your budget. Regardless of the issue, you want to finish the year strong and start the next year even stronger, so you will need to make some changes. This way, you will have found methods to improve that will make meeting your next set of goals even easier.
Review employer benefits package
Employer benefits like 401k programs, retirement plans, as well as different types of insurance offerings can play an important role in your financial plan. If you want to enroll in insurance or change your existing insurance, make sure to mark the dates for open enrollment on your calendar. During the enrollment window, try to sign up early so that you don’t risk missing the deadline and you have plenty of time to ask questions and make changes as needed.
When it comes to all the different benefits offered by your employer, you should make an effort to know your options and talk to HR to learn more. Then, look at your personal situation to see if you need to make any additions or subtractions. For example, you may have a life event that encourages you to increase your life insurance (like getting married) or even lower your life insurance (like paying off your mortgage). This requires you to know your personal finances to better understand what you need and make the best decisions for your life.
Take one positive step on something you’ve been putting off
Procrastination is a common thorn in the side of financial strategies. It could be saving for retirement, setting up an emergency fund, or paying down credit card debt. Whatever it is that you have been putting off, simply set a short-term goal and make a step toward reaching it. This will allow you to feel greater relief and, in many cases, have greater freedom to address other financial issues as they arise.
Determine your net worth
To determine your net worth, just look at what you own (assets) and subtract what you owe (debts and liabilities). Doing this lets you see the progress you’re making from year to year. In many cases, people solely focus on retirement or savings goals, but it can be beneficial to look at the bigger picture. Evaluating your net worth can help you see if you are making positive gains, and if you’re not, implement new changes for the remainder of the year and beyond.
The Bottom Line
Improving your financial circumstances by year’s end begins with knowing where you stand now. You are the one who cares the most about your money. So, empower yourself with knowledge and know that you can meet your goals and improve your finances. To get started, see where you stand today so that you can move forward to finish the year strong and, just as importantly, start the next year even stronger!
If you want to learn even more about finishing the year financially strong, be sure to contact the experts at Mentoro today!