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Reflect on This Year’s Finances Before The New Year Starts offers “Last-minute money moves to make before you ring in the new year” and even if you don’t do these things before the year official ends, you can do still some of these things as the new year starts.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

You can “reflect on your spending.”

In the rush to see the end of 2020, you might be tempted to forget this past year and move on. But it might be helpful to look back on how you saved and spent. While your spending may have decreased on things like travel, you may have spent more on hobbies or ordering food. Some people will find that they were disciplined about saving. Others may find that they ordered a lot more online because they were in the house more often. Thinking about how you helped and hindered your financial goals will be useful as you plan for the year to come.

There is still time to “donate to charity.”

Financial experts give this advice each year as December 31 gets closer and if you haven’t donated anything, this is the time to do it, if you can. This is especial true as 2020 winds up because “…you can also get a tax break — even if you don’t itemize your taxes. The CARES Act allows those who take the standard deduction to claim up to $300 in charitable contribution deductions.”

You can “prepare for bills to restart.”

If you were able to take advantage of the parts of the CARES Act that allowed you to postpone a student loan or withdraw from a retirement account without penalty, plan for payments in the new year. You will need to start paying your student loan again. And look into your options for how you’ll repay money withdrawn from a retirement account. In some cases, you will have three years to pay the money back but you don’t want to forget that it is owed for three years.