Fall Is a Time for Taking Financial Stock

Take inventory of your financesWith temperatures starting to drop outside, fall is the perfect time to come in and start thinking about your finances.

Many considerations can be taken into account, whether you act to firm up your financial foundation or make your home’s exterior less weather-prone.

A financial inventory during open enrollment
Open enrollment is a once a year thing. It’s a good reminder to review a few financial issues from your workplace. Take stock at this time of your opportunities when choosing medical, dental or vision plans for you and your family. Review your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Decide how you’ll use the money or decide if this is the year you need to start using one.

Max out retirement savings
This is a good time to finish contributions to your Traditional or Roth IRA. That’s because after the holidays, you may be short of funds. It’s also a good time to adjust your 401(k) withholding so you can get the entire match as well as tax benefits. Starting now gives you a few months to spread it out.

Review insurance coverage
Along with health insurance, take a look at your life insurance, homeowners, auto, etc. All of these coverages should be reviewed about once per year. Things change and maybe your coverages should, too.

Beware scammers
The pre-holiday season is a time scammers begin picking up the pace when it comes to cyberattacks, so be prepared. If you get an e-mail that looks like it’s from your bank or a familiar retailer, and it’s requesting information from you—treat it skeptically. Scam artists often operate by masquerading as a legitimate business and pursuing the victim to share personal information.

Home care
Fall is the time to prep for energy savings by caulking and weather stripping doors and windows, turning your thermostat back for a fixed period each day and insulating your attic, basement or outside walls.

Plan for holiday spending
Ah, the holidays! A time to eat, drink and be merry…and overspend. Why not set aside some funds now to cover gifts for family, coworkers and friends? In fact, why not start the old-fashioned Holiday Club account this fall? Set up a dedicated account and transfer money to it every month until next October. At the end of October, you’ll have the cash to either fund the holidays outright, or enough to put a dent in it.

Plan for summer vacation
Start dreaming of where you want to go next year. Begin saving in a Club account and set up an alert through an online travel site to watch airfare prices. It’s never too early to plan ahead!

Resources: HuffPost, U.S. News & World Report