Taking inventory of your finances at the end of the year is always a smart move.
Confirm your contact information – Let’s start with the easiest possible task: If you moved during the last year, make sure your financial institutions and employer have your new address. The last thing you want is to miss an important piece of mail and mess up your taxes—so it can’t hurt to double-check.
Audit your subscriptions and automatic payments – Recurring monthly payments can really add up over time, so go through your subscriptions and ask yourself what you truly need and what you can do without. One or two nix-worthy line items can free up funds for other uses. Repeat this process for any automatic payments and transfers, especially your internet and/or cable bill. You can often get a lower rate by stating you are going to switch service. Double-check your monthly bill for accuracy, autopay makes billing mistakes easy to miss.
Update your banking passwords – Data leaks happen often, and you really don’t want your banking login compromised. Start the new year with a fresh set of passwords for all financial accounts.
Clear out payment app balances – If you use Venmo, PayPal, or other payment apps, check to see if you’re carrying a balance. Most people are—which means you’ll probably find some free money. Transfer excess balances to your WFCU share account or use it to pay off your credit card debt.
Check in on your savings and debt payoff goals – Whether you’re saving for retirement, paying down debt, or both, it’s a good idea to take stock of your progress this year. Did you meet your goals? If not, what adjustments do you need to make for 2022? Don’t forget to consider factors beyond your own habits namely, interest rate changes. If the interest rates on any of your accounts have changed significantly this year, it’s worth shopping around to see if you can get a better deal at your credit union.
Gear up for tax season – As another January draws to a close, it can only mean one thing: Tax season is coming. Getting your tax documents in order now (and touching base with your accountant) will save you time and effort down the line. Unless the IRS postpones Tax Day for the third year in a row, the 2021 filing deadline is April 15, 2022. This is also the deadline for making tax-deductible IRA contributions, even if you file an extension—so don’t procrastinate on your contributions for too long.
Cleaning up your finances doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process. Most of these tasks take just a few minutes to complete. Pick one or two to start with, get them taken care of, and go from there. You’ll start 2022 in a much better place.