The end of 2018 is just around the corner. You may not want to think about next year so soon, but getting your finances in order will start off your New Year right. Here are some simple steps you can take now that will save you a lot of time later.

1. Budget – Go through your budget to see if you have increased or decreased spending in any of your categories. If you received a raise or a bonus and haven’t factored that into your budget, now is a good time to make adjustments.

If you’re planning any major purchases or if you’ll remodel your house, be sure to include the impact the cost will have on your budget.

2. Increase Your Savings – If you received a raise at the end of the year, is it possible for you to maintain your current budget and put the increase into your savings or retirement fund? It’s a painless way to increase your contributions. If your living expenses have decreased, consider putting that money into savings or investments as well.

3. Maximize Your Pre-tax Contributions – Make sure you’re taking advantage of every pre-tax dollar that’s available. If your employer makes matching donations to your retirement, make sure you meet that match dollar-for-dollar. Is there a flexible spending account you didn’t participate in last year? Sign up for it in 2019. Take a careful look at all the options and don’t leave any money on the IRS’s table.

4. Pay Off Holiday Expenditures – Hopefully you didn’t go overboard on holiday spending. If you stuck to your budget, give yourself a pat on the back. Pay off any outstanding purchases you made by credit card and replace any emergency savings you may have dipped into for last minute gifts.

5. Review Your Financial Goals – If you haven’t set any goals for the new year, take the time to look at your overall financial standing. Is your ratio of debt to income too high? Do you want to downsize to save money? Would you like to take a fantastic vacation? Do you want to establish or increase the size of your emergency nest egg? Having a clear financial goal is the first step to reaching it.

As the New Year approaches, the professionals at ORT Consulting are here to help you make the best financial choices for your situation. Call us today for an appointment and have a safe and happy holiday season.