As the leaves begin to change color, it's time to start thinking about your year-end money strategy. The fall and winter holidays are closer than you think. Use the following strategies to make the rest of the year count.
1. Clean out your closet. You looked into your closet and decided you have nothing to wear. Before you start buying new clothes, pull out your cold weather clothes and give them a good look. Try them on to make sure everything still fits and donate what you no longer wish to keep.
2. Add holidays into your budget. The holidays always include the chance you may overspend on gifts and decorations. If you haven't already made a spending plan for them, do so now. Figure out how much you can afford to spend and stick to that amount.
3. Up your 401(k). If your budget can handle it, why not increase your retirement deductions by 1%? The more you save now, the more tax benefits you'll get, AND the less you have to worry about the future.
4. Spend your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollars. Use it or lose it. You've already saved this money, so don't leave it on the table. Check your FSA documentation to see what health-related expenses you can use this account for and use those dollars.
5. Plan to use your vacation days. Using your vacation days is key to living a successful, balanced life. Even if you have a staycation, it's critical to use your well-deserved days off. If you plan now, you can even save for a weekend getaway before the end of the year. Life is all about balance.
As the weather turns colder, it's a great time to reflect on the money progress you've made throughout the past year and start focusing on small wins to finish the year right.