Published on 01-23-2020
Categories: Member Tips
There’s no better feeling than crossing things off your checklist for the year. And now that 2020 has begun, we’ve compiled a financial checklist to help you get organized for the year ahead. Consider these 6 tips to get your finances in check. Don’t forget to check these to-do’s off your list as you get them done!
Create a Budget
Set the stage for a successful New Year by setting up and sticking to a sound budget. Start by listing all income, expenses, and track your spending by looking at receipt and bank statements. Decide what your long and short term financial goals are and make any necessary adjustments needed to stay on target.
Create an Emergency Fund
Starting off the new year, no one wants to think about unexpected costs or expenses. However, it’s important to be prepared by creating a rainy-day fund and an emergency fund. Aim for a fund that can cover six months of normal expenses.
When you’re making your 2020 budget, take in to account to pay down any debt you have. Consider debt consolidation by simplifying your payments through personal loans, home equity financing or balance transfers. All of these can organize your finances, reduce monthly payments and help you reach your goal of being debt free quicker.
Organize Tax Documents
Create a folder for tax documents so when year-end statements arrive, you can put them in one place. In the meantime, gather and file existing tax paperwork such as receipts for charitable donations or medical expenses. A good basic tax checklist can be found here.
Evaluate Your 401(k)
If you’ve got a 401(k)-retirement plan, try to contribute as much as your employer will match, and review how it’s invested. Don’t forget your 401(k) contributions are tax free up to $19,500 per year (& $6500 more if you are 50 or over)
To ensure your charitable donations can qualify for 2020 tax deductions, make them before the end of the year. Remember that all non-profit donations are not necessarily tax-deductible. So, make sure you verify this before donating.
Allocate a few hours in the coming weeks to get your finances in order. Need help with tracking your spending or debt counseling? Coastal’s budget planning software called, BudgetSmart, can upgrade your spending and saving habits. Also, you can benefit from free debt counseling with Coastal’s partnership with GreenPath.
Originally written by Roberta Pescow, NerdWallet