Money / Financial Planning
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It seems like the older you get, the faster the holiday season sneaks up on you. While that might entail joyful get-togethers and festive cocktails, the end of the year also signals that it’s time to do some financial housekeeping.
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Don’t worry: Performing a year-end financial check up might not be among your most exciting plans in December, but it’s not difficult to do. Plus, you’ll set yourself up for a more prosperous 2023. Here are five key areas to check up on before the end of the year.
Revise Your Budget
Taking a look at your budget each year is always a good idea. However, considering the economic strain Americans have faced lately amid inflation, it’s crucial to make sure your budget can support your spending going into next year.
Brian Greenberg, founder and CEO of Insurist, suggested making a list of your assets and liabilities first. Go through your bank statements, credit card statements, investments and any other documents that show how much money you have (and how much you owe).
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Next, figure out how much money you have left over after paying all of your bills.
“This will help you figure out what percentage of your income goes toward expenses like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, food and clothing costs — anything else that isn’t considered an investment or savings account,” Greenberg said. Then compare these two numbers and see whether anything needs changing.
For example, Greenberg said, if you’re spending more than 40% of your income on discretionary expenses, you might want to consider funneling more money for savings or retirement instead. Now is a great time to adjust where your money is going and come up with a better spending plan for 2023.
Review Your Healthcare Costs
Healthcare costs are one of the largest recurring expenses people face each year, according to Ari Parker, author of “It’s Not That Complicated: The Three Medicare Decisions to Protect Your Health and Money.” December can be a critical time to find healthcare savings.
“If you are retired and on a fixed income, saving on medical bills is one of the most efficient ways to improve your financial situation in 2023,” Parker said. “My biggest tip is to take the time this month to evaluate how much you pay for doctor and specialist visits, prescription drug …….