12 Finance Tips to Kick Off The New Year

Posted by Madison on January 4, 2012

Time to get your finances in order for the new year!

You know which ones I’m talking about… the finances that were neglected during the holiday season.

If your new years resolutions are financially based this year this list will come in handy as a springboard to get started.

And even if you didn’t dedicate a resolution to your finances, you’ll still be able to find some finance tips in the list that apply to you!

Here are 12 finance tips to kick off the New Year.

New Year Finance Tips

  1. Outfit your new tablet with finance apps. Did you get a new tablet or smartphone under the tree? If so, here are our favorite finance apps for the iPhone and iPad and finance apps for Android to get you started.
  2. Review your asset allocation. Review your investments and compare them to your target asset allocation. Rebalance if necessary. If you don’t have a target asset allocation, now is the time to make one!
  3. Establish your annual budget. Determine your income and expenses for the year. Are you happy with the proportion of your expenses to your income for each category? If not, plan some changes.
  4. Plan retirement contributions. Plan your annual retirement contributions for your 401ks and IRAs. Don’t forget to review the 401ks limits for this year, and increase your deferral with your employer to contribution the maximum.
  5. Review your investments. Did you miss your chance to harvest tax losses at the end of the year because you were too busy with holiday festivities? If so, you can always sell your losers now and they’ll help you out with your taxes next year.
  6. Follow up on bonuses. Make sure you received all the sign up bonuses you were supposed to get last year for credit cards, banks, and other sign up bonuses.
  7. Purge accounts. Go through and clean up the accounts left over from the free money sign up bonuses above. If you won’t be using an account review the inactivity fees and annual fees. If necessary, close the accounts to avoid any fees (I keep most of my credit card accounts open if there aren’t any fees).
  8. Collect cash back. Now is the time to go through and collect all of your cash back from your holiday shopping.
  9. Balance accounts. Balance all of your accounts for year end. It really helps to have all of this done before you file your taxes to get an accurate list of interest, dividends, capital gains and items that will go on your tax return.
  10. Make a tax folder. Designate a place to collect all of the incoming tax documents. Each day when you get the mail, if you have a place to put the tax papers immediately, you’ll thank yourself!
  11. Purge old papers. Now is also a great time to purge old papers. As you go through and balance your year end accounts, file the new papers and purge the old ones. See How Long Do We Really Need to Keep Those Papers?
  12. Organize your wallet. And finally, change out your credit cards to take advantage of the 1st quarter 5% rotating cash back.

What are you doing to prepare for your financial new year?

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