After the frenzy of the holidays has passed, doesn’t it feel great to take a deep breath and have some time to yourself? While everyone else is playing with their new gadgets, here are some great ways you can take advantage of the post-holiday slowdown:
1. Zero in on your money pits. What are you spending too much on that is stopping you from achieving your goals? Amanda L. Grossman, a 32-year-old financial blogger at FrugalConfessions.com, plans to negotiate a lower rate on her cable and Internet bill for the upcoming year. Since quitting her job in early 2013 to pursue her passion of teaching others to live rich and frugal lives, Grossman and her husband do their best to keep the bills low so she can continue to do what she loves.
2. Catch up on financial housekeeping. Are there financial tasks you’ve been putting off? Take a bit of time to set a foundation for the year ahead. For example, you can finally decide on what to do with the 401(k) from your previous employer (TheEmpoweredDollar.com has a fun infographic to help you get started), or combine all your accounts to track them in one place using CO-OP’s Sprig® tool.
3. Plan for anticipated life events. Are you expecting a baby or planning to go back to school next year? It’s far easier to deal with the financial stresses of big life events by being proactive instead of reactive. Julie Rains, a financial blogger at InvestingToThrive.com has a plan to sit down with her family to look at options for sending her youngest son off to college. “The end of the year is a good time to talk about these issues since we all have some downtime,” Rains says.
By spending some time reviewing, reflecting, and making adjustments, you’ll have a better idea of how to prepare for the year ahead. Making use of the year-end slowdown to go over your finances will be time well spent in making your dreams for 2015 a reality.