Staying Organized in The New Year Will Help you Find Time and Money
Now that most of the holiday rush is over it is time be strategic and start planning financially for 2019. Year end is a great time to stop and think about how to be more efficient and effective the next year. As I cautioned in previous weeks, the goal is not perfection but rather progress. Any improvement in running your household or business is a step in the right direction.
When it comes to being more efficient next holiday season one strategy is to start preparations sooner. If you are thinking easier said than done, consider these four tips and see how happy you feel next November when the holiday season kicks off again.
1. Year round keep a look out for gifts your loved ones will enjoy. When you see something someone would love, buy it and cross them off your list in August! Not only will you take the pressure off your budget at holiday time by spreading purchases throughout the year, but you will have more time enjoying the holiday and less time spent shopping in December 2019.
2. If you travel during the year, keep an eye out for location specific artifacts or collectibles that friends and family would enjoy. You will be able to gift a unique present and your recipient will know you were thinking about them during the year.
3. Stock up now on holiday supplies such as wrapping and decorations which are on sale. I have seen savings as big as 70% before Christmas so prices are probably lower now.
4. As you are putting away holiday decorations notice what needs to be replaced. Strings of lights that no longer work or broken ornaments can be replaced now at discounted prices. Your new door wreath won’t be unveiled until November 2019, but no one needs to know that you bought it in December 2018.
Being more financially efficient in 2019 also starts now. Now is a great time to do the following:
1. If you have not done so already go through all recurring bills and set them up for automatic payment. Missing a payment date by even one day can negatively impact your credit score which can take months to recover.
2. Check your credit score and report. There are many no cost options available to get the actual credit score. Many credit card companies are providing the score as one of the benefits to card holders. Check the company website or your paper statement for information. This is also a good time to order your credit report which can be obtained for free once a year. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com/index.actionto order your free annual report and check it for errors. There are three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experion and TransUnion. If there are errors on the report contact the credit agency with a dispute letter and supporting documentation as soon as possible.
3. Organize your files. Office supply stores will start stocking up on files, file boxes and calendars as people prepare to move out the 2018 information to get ready for 2019. Whether functional or decorative, finding the right storage containers for your files will help keep them organized.
4. If expenses need to be tracked for work or a business, look for apps that will make your year end 2019 easier. Consider what information needs to be accounted for and either use a comprehensive app like XpenseTracker, Spending Tracker, QuickBooks or a specific tracker such as MileIQ, MileTracker or Mileage Tracker. I found MileIQ a few years ago and it makes tax time a lot easier!
5. Start gathering your tax information in preparation for filing. The deadline is Monday, April 15, 2019. The IRS has issued a new form 1040 as part of it’s attempt to make tax filing simpler. The new form replaces the old 1040A and 1040-EZ. The new forms are not out yet but to see a draft version from the IRS go to www.irs.gov/pub/irs-dft/f1040--dft.pdf.
Each year we grow as moms and families. Finding new and better ways of managing our finances is an on-going process. There will be some missteps and some successes. The path is not straight but with some forethought the road can be smoother. My hope is that the recalibration tips the last 7 weeks have helped lead you in the right direction, but it really is just the start of the journey and most people still need a guide.
If you would like more information about how to be financially efficient in 2019 and beyond then consider working with a financial professional. I have helped hundreds of people do just that and would love to set up a free personal meeting to discuss your questions. Asking for more information and clarification about your money is the first step. Call me or email me on the link below and mention Mother Honestly, I’d love to hear from you!
As we close the Financial Recalibration 2018 series my hope is that the information shared these 8 weeks allow you and your family to embark on the next leg of the journey with more financial confidence. Happy New Year Mother Honestly!
Asalyn Coachman, JD, Financial Architects, Inc. 39395 W. 12 Mile Rd, Suite 102, Farmington Hills, MI 48331. firstname.lastname@example.org or 248.482.3600.
Asalyn Coachman is a Registered Representative of and offers Securities through The O.N. Equity Sales Company, Member FINRA/SIPC, 39395 W Twelve Mile Rd., Ste 102 Farmington Hills, MI 48331 (248) 482-3600. Investment Advisory Services offered through O.N. Investment Management Company. Financial Architects, Inc. and Mother Honestly are not subsidiaries or affiliates of The O.N. Equity Sales Company or O.N. Investment Management Company.