Be sure to check them off your list this month.
- There are some financial tasks worth tackling before the end of 2022.
- These steps could help you consolidate your finances and avoid debt in the new year.
- Add money to your emergency fund, use your FSA funds, and budget for vacation expenses.
It’s hard to believe that 2022 is almost over. But alas, November has arrived, and at this point many people are already entering vacation mode, which usually signals the end of the year.
At the same time, we still have about two months of 2022 to enjoy. And it also means you have time to prepare for a strong financial start through 2023. Here are some important financial moves to tackle in November to get you there.
1. Boost your emergency fund
Much has already been said of a potential recession in 2023. The Federal Reserve is aggressively raising interest rates to calm inflation, but this could lead to a huge pullback in consumer spending that would lead to widespread economic decline. That’s why now is a really good time to inject some extra money into your emergency fund.
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At a minimum, you should have enough money in your savings account to cover three months of essential bills. But that’s really the minimum.
If a recession hits in the new year, it could lead to months of unemployment, so the more savings you have, the better. If you can grow your emergency fund from three months of bills to three and a half or four months, you’ll be better equipped to weather the storm if a recession hits next year. And even if that doesn’t happen, topping up your emergency fund isn’t a bad idea.
2. Make plans to use your FSA
Got money in your flexible spending account? You may have a grace period to use these funds in 2023 – or you may not. It really depends on your plan, so you’ll have to check. But if you don’t have a grace period deferral option, take time in November to schedule doctor’s appointments and refill prescriptions. This way, you’ll be less likely to give up money that’s yours.
3. Develop a vacation budget
The holidays are fast approaching and once they have started, the temptation to spend can be enormous. That’s why now is the time to create a vacation budget. Determine what expenses you are planning and how much you can afford to spend. And then prioritize your purchases to make the most of the funds you have.
A mistake many people make during the holidays is spending too much and ending the year in debt. It’s not something you want to do this particular year. If a recession hits in 2023 and you find yourself out of work, the last thing you want are credit card debt payments hanging over your head. But if you plan your spending carefully, that won’t necessarily be your reality.
You may be busy compiling your Thanksgiving menu this month and planning to go home in December. But it’s also a good idea to boost your savings, take care of your health issues (and spend your FSA in the process), and prepare to come out of the holiday season debt-free.
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