Fall Financial Checklist
As the leaves change and cooler weather sets in, it's the perfect time to reflect on your personal finances and ensure you're on the right path for the upcoming year.
The final months of the year offer a valuable opportunity to make key financial moves that can set you up for success in January and beyond. Here are eight thoughtful pieces of advice to guide you through your fall financial check-up:
- Review Your Monthly Budget: Summer tends to be a season of increased spending, with vacations and social activities in full swing. Take a close look at your income and expenses to identify areas where you can cut back. If you've accrued credit card balances over the summer, prioritize paying them off.
- Check Your Credit Report: After the summer excitement, it's crucial to review your credit report for accuracy and potential signs of fraud. Scammers are active during the summer months, so ensure all listed accounts are yours and reported correctly.
- Review Your Asset Allocation: With the final quarter approaching, it's an excellent time to assess your portfolio's risk profile. Ensure it aligns with your investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. Rebalancing may be necessary to maintain your desired asset mix.
- Consider Impactful Investments: Explore ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing, socially responsible investing (SRI), and impact investing. Align your investments with your personal values while aiming for positive returns and supporting causes you care about.
- Plan Charitable Giving: The holiday season is synonymous with giving. Make a plan for charitable donations to reduce your tax burden and support causes close to your heart. Explore donor-advised funds for tax-efficient giving.
- Review Your Estate Plan: Major life changes throughout the year may necessitate updates to your estate plan. Use the year-end period for reflection and adjustment.
- Prepare for Tax Season: Regardless of your state's tax situation, consider tax-efficient asset allocation. Strategies like tax-loss harvesting can minimize capital gains taxes. Maximize contributions to retirement accounts (e.g., 401(k) and IRA) to leverage tax breaks.
- Set a Holiday Budget: Avoid holiday overspending by planning ahead. Create a budget for gifts, set spending limits, and take advantage of holiday deals. If travel is on the horizon, book early to avoid price hikes.
September can be the best time to assess your financial well-being and make strategic moves. Start your checklist now to avoid a year-end rush and ensure a financially comfortable start to the new year.
CUofCO does not provide legal or tax advice, merely suggestions. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.