As we rapidly approach year end, making a list for Santa shouldn’t be the only list that you make. It is also the time of the season to be making some end of the year smart money moves. Here are my quick five to do’s and NOT to do’s before the end of the year.
- Use up your FSA- You can only carry over $500 to 2015, so make sure you use the other money or you will lose it.
- Donate to charity- Especially your non-cash charitable contributions. Make sure to get a receipt for tax purposes.
- Match gains and losses- Look through what positions to sell to match losses against gains. Not every position will be a winner.
- Max out 401(k)- If you have a pay period left and are way behind in contributions, you might do 100% of the last paycheck.
- Make a holiday shopping list- Unless you want a holiday financial hangover, making a good list will ultimately save you money.
NOT To Do’s
- Mutual fund purchases- Be careful on the date you purchase a fund in a non-qualified account. You might eat the capital gains for the entire year.
- Take your bonus- If your company offers a year-end bonus, see if it makes sense to defer it into 2015 from a tax perspective.
- Buy winter gear- It may be cold outside, but buying winter gear at this time of year will be even colder on your wallet.
- Buy a new car- Wait until Presidents day weekend where you can expect to get better deals.
- Join a gym- You can expect to see better pricing come January.