It’s crazy that we are already halfway through the year. And yet, now is the best time to start getting your finances together. Better to do it now than have a freak out at the end of the year!! Take note of these things you should be saving for before the year ends…
5 Things You Should Be Saving For Before the Year Ends
This post was written by our wonderful staff writer, Kimberly Studdard.
1) The Holidays
Look, the holidays are not a surprise. We all know that…
- Halloween is the 31st of October.
- Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November.
- Christmas is on the 25th of December.
- And of course, let’s not forget about new years, which happens every 1st of January.
So, you should be saving for these holidays, if you celebrate them. For me, I know I’m usually the host on these holidays, so I need to save/prepare more than some. Because of that, I have a line item in my budget that is “holidays” with a breakdown of what I need to save each month to meet my holiday spending goals.
If you host the holidays, or if you know you want to get gifts for Christmas and celebrate with family and friends on the other holidays, start preparing for them now.
2) Black Friday/Cyber Monday
I don’t know about you, but I hate Black Friday. However, I love Cyber Monday and being able to shop from the comfort of my own home while scoring some pretty sweet deals.
Here’s how I do it:
- Plan the items that I know I will need/want a month ahead of time (you can typically find out what will be on sale by utilizing the web and local flyers for stores in your area). I only buy items that we’ve been wanting but waiting on a deal, or items that I know will be of use to me.
- Figure out the total costs of these items.
- Use some of my “holiday” savings for these items, up to a certain amount (I typically spend about $200 on Cyber Monday).
- Use any extra side hustle money or bonuses from clients to pay for the rest (if needed).
Now, you don’t have to follow exactly what I do. However, if you plan on shopping during this time, this is a holiday that you should be saving for. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great, as long as you prepare and don’t go overboard.
For many people, the end of the year is the time that insurance rolls over or it’s time to pick a new one. So this is certainly one of those things you should be saving for.
- Premiums can change.
- New insurance can be more expensive with the addition of a family member or a move.
- End of the year exams can end up costing a small fortune.
Whatever it is, insurance and health costs are things you should be preparing and saving for.
If you have FSA or HSA options and savings, now is also the time to prepare to spend them. Might as well save some money on costs because you prepared for them.
4) Tax Season
For some people, tax season is like a second Christmas. But for many others (like myself) it can mean financial ruin if not prepared for. Don’t get caught owing the government thousands of dollars. Instead, make sure you’ve paid enough in taxes, have your deductions and credits in order, and start building up your savings in case you DO owe for the end of the year.
I use Quickbooks Self-Employed to track my deductions, expenses, and taxes owed from my small business. You can also see a CPA/Accountant and get professional advice on how much you should be saving.
5) End of The Season Mishaps
Maybe it’s just me, but something always happens at the end of the year, right after the holidays.
- The car will break down,
- water pipes burst, or
- my kid gets hurt and has to be rushed to the hospital.
Sometimes, these mishaps aren’t so bad, and can typically be paid out of pocket. But sometimes, I’m looking at thousands in bills or fixes.
By having a well-stocked emergency fund, I can breathe a little easier knowing that I can pay for these mishaps and not get into debt or worry about paying my bills. That’s why I have a 3-6 month emergency fund. It’s there as an emergency fund for when things just go left and my regular monthly income can’t cover the emergencies. If you haven’t started saving for the mishaps that will inevitably happen, now is the time to start.
Things You Should Be Saving For – Are You Sold on the Idea?
So many people just fly by the seat of their pants. They don’t think about saving a dime until their credit card bill gets too big to handle. Don’t go there. Instead, think like the millionaires do and plan ahead for all of these spend items.
Now, I’m not saying that now is the time to start trying to save thousands of dollars each month. However, just by saving a few dollars here and there, you’ll be more prepared for the end of the year than most. And, if by having these savings in place, you’ll breathe a little easier knowing that you have the money in your account when things start popping up.
Are you sold on this idea of “things you should be saving for”?
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.