4 Tips for a Financially Freeing End of the Year

It’s that time of year again! Holidays really stress everyone out. Today, I’m stressed out. I have friends coming to town, my house is a mess, baking needs to happen (my sister is currently in the kitchen doing some of it). I have a dinner tonight and Tuesday night. I have an event I’m hosting tomorrow. It’s just a really crazy month for so many people.

Why should finances add to your stress? We’re going to share 4 tips that can save your end of year budget from crashing and burning like so many other people deal with every year. Here are a few things that you can do to make your end of year a little less stressful for everyone in your family.

1. Stick to your budget and reevaluate for next year. Stick to it! If you have a budget set, you need to try and get to the finish line. Don’t overspend on gifts and groceries because you’re caught up in the moment. Also, take the month of December to sit back and reevaluate your budget for next year. Were you saving enough? Did any of your bills increase or decrease? Are you struggling financially, and if so, what can you eliminate to make your burden a little lighter? It’s never a bad thing to reevaluate, even if your conclusion is that your budget is fine as-is.

2. Get your stuff together for your taxes. I know, you aren’t required to get your W-2′s until January, but what about everything else? Charitable contribution¬†receipts, medical bills that weren’t covered by medical insurance, home office expenses. If you have everything together, it’ll make the whole process easier when your W-2′s finally do come.

3. Cut expenses for holiday travel. It’s too late to buy tickets super early (my usual tip for travel), but it’s almost to the point where you may get the last-minute discounts, if you can find somewhere that has extra seats. Don’t check a bag if you don’t have to; many airlines have increased the cost of checking bags. Don’t eat on the premises unless you’re stuck for a long time. Gas prices have been going down and it’s starting to get cheaper to drive than fly to some places;¬†calculate¬†that before you go.

4. Be creative. If you’re struggling for cash, be creative in all of your end-of-year endeavors. I write letters to the teenagers I work with because there’s too many to get gifts for. Having a New Year’s Party? Make your own favors, get creative with inexpensive appetizers. Utilize free movies you may have access to via your TV or computer. Or, just stay at your house and play games!

The end of the year should be a fun and exciting time for everyone involved. You shouldn’t be stressing in any way, but hopefully, these tips help you out so that your finances are one less thing to worry about. Have a great weekend!

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