Now that it’s December, people everywhere will be beginning a mad dash to finish up all the things they meant to do in the past 11 months—maybe that means they go into overdrive trying to achieve the last year’s sales goals or put a large sum of money into your retirement fund to make up for not contributing enough throughout the year. While it’s a good idea to play catch up at the end of the year, it is even more beneficial to use the end of the year as an opportunity to plan ahead and make the next year the best ever. Don’t wait until January 1st to make plans to get ready for 2017—the sooner you start the greater your likelihood of success in the new year.
Here are a few things you can do now to get your finances ready for 2017.
1. Reflect on the past year.
In order to make great plans for the next year, you have to take an objective look at what worked and what didn’t work from the last year. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back if you stayed within your budget and kept up with your investment goals! Now consider what didn’t work so well. If you didn’t keep up with your investment timeline or save as much money as you hoped, now is a good time to sit down, figure out why, and determine if you need to make any changes to your plans going forward.
2. Set new goals or revise existing goals.
It’s important to keep your focus on where you’re headed so you don’t get bogged down in the details of the day-to-day (that’s where a good turnkey property management company can come in handy!). When you look back at the past year, if you determined that you didn’t meet all of your goals (or that your progress wasn’t consistent with your long-term financial or investment goals) you might want to make some tweaks. Were your goals unrealistic? Don’t despair! Hopefully, you learned something from the experience and you can make more realistic short-term goals that will get you catapult you closer to you end goals than ever!
3. Get organized.
Do you know where all of your receipts are? Have you logged all of your miles? Are you missing any important documentation? Do you have any bills you’ve been putting off paying? Don’t get to the end of the year and find yourself in a panic. Tie up all your loose ends now and then come up with a better system so that you will be even more organized next year. That way you won’t be wasting precious time sorting through things and you’ll be able to focus on moving forward in the new year.
4. Get good advice.
Information is power. So if there’s anything about your financial portfolio, whether it’s your stocks or your investment properties, that you don’t quite understand now is a great time to call up an expert and ask them to walk you through what you need to know, ask for help, and come up with a plan to better utilize your assets in the next year.
5. Understand how new policies might affect your finances.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you probably know that this was an election year. Our newly elected officials have some big plans for changes. And those changes could have a big impact on your bottom line. Now is a good time to do you your homework and understand how those proposed changes might impact your finances so you can make the smartest decisions in the upcoming year. Here’s an article that outlines how some of the proposed changes might impact your portfolio.