01 January, 2016 Financial Planning Tax Planning

Get Fiscally Fit for 2016

Along with physical fitness, fiscal fitness and financial planning tend to figure prominently on people’s New Year’s resolutions. But why wait until the first of the year? There is no time like the present for financial planning, and it’s never too late.

Perhaps the best thing an individual can do in helping to firm up their financial foundation is to take advantage of the time one takes now to make last minute adjustments, calculations and contributions. As long as you have a calculator out or a pad and paper and some receipts, try to figure out what 2016 is going to look like.

One simple thing individuals can do to get a sense on their spending is to examine year-end credit card statements that give a “bird’s-eye view” of spending by category over the past year. This is a good time to reflect on what went well (financial planning-wise) and what didn’t go so well and take action for 2016.

The end of the year is also an ideal time to get a jump on the New Year and get online tracking budget tracking. It’s difficult to create a chart of accounts when you’ve got 11 months of expenses, but it’s much easier when you’re starting fresh (in January) with a formal tracking system.

This may also be a good time to decide to meet with your financial planner or be looking to work with one. A lot of people are knowledgeable and think they can do (financial planning) themselves and that may well be true, but think of the doctor analogy: You may be an expert brain surgeon, but you don’t necessarily want to operate on your own brain. Beyond their objectivity and (expertise), people may simply value a financial advisor for just getting it done.