December is too hectic a month to survive without a checklist. Here is a personal finance-themed year-end checklist:
☐ Spend down your flex spending account (FSA) if you have one with a balance.
☐ Donate old or rarely used clothing, toys or other items you have around the house. It will make room for holiday decorations and give you a tax deduction if you itemize and meet the IRS requirements.
☐ Check that you are on track with your retirement account contributions.
☐ Review your year-to-date spending. Pay particular attention to monthly subscriptions that are on auto-renewal. Consider any lifestyle changes that will save you money (for example, we dropped cable last year around this time).
☐ Review your financial affairs with a spouse or loved one. Create a digital inventory if you don’t have one to make for easy updating next year.
☐ Google yourself and family members. I am starting to do this for clients at their Annual Review. The point is to see if there is any info out there on the web that you do not want publicly available (ex. your home address).
☐ Clean out the paper filing cabinet, if you still have one. Scan and organize files that can be moved to cloud storage.