Are you feeling the stress of the holiday season? If so, you’re not alone. 42% of people say they feel financially unprepared.1 You can take steps now to help. Start by having a conversation with family and friends—toss out the idea of drawing names and setting a spending limit. Then, make a list of everyone you plan to buy for this year—it helps to see it all on paper. Finally, look at your total holiday spending budget and use that to drive your shopping list. Once you start shopping, remember to keep track of your spending as you go.
As holiday shopping season begins, now’s a good time to take steps to keep your financial information safe. First, sign up for account alerts to get real-time charge notifications. Second, review your statements in detail to check every transaction. Finally, keep information like your credit card number private and reconsider using it at places like restaurants where they take your card out of sight. If you notice something, make sure to contact your financial services company right away.
Ever dream about financial independence? You may be able to take some ideas from super savers—those who are maxing out their retirement contributions each year.2 How are they doing it? They’re making sacrifices, big and small—like driving older vehicles, owning a modest home, traveling less than they’d like, and doing DIY projects over hiring it out—to stash more in their savings.3 And they’re taking full advantage of things like employer matches on retirement savings.
The leaves are changing, and year-end is nearing, which means open enrollment season is almost here. Have you thought about your current benefits and coverage? This is the one time of year to make changes to your health, dental, and vision plans, along with life insurance policies. Often there’s a short window to make your selections, so it’s helpful to research your options now. Evaluate your current coverage: Do you have adequate protection for you and your family now—and into the coming year? Could another plan be a better fit? It might even be helpful to make side-by-side comparisons.
When was the last time you reviewed your financial plan? Treat yourself with your favorite pumpkin spice drink and spend some time giving your money habits a fresh look. Start by revisiting your spending over the last few months to see if it’s in line with your goals and adjust for the months ahead. Then, check your savings. Do you need to replenish what you’ve dipped into recently? Or can you bump up what you’re saving to help improve your financial security?