close up photo of a pen about to cross off the 31st on a calendar

Year-End Money Do List

Bobbi Olson Podcast

Learn how to set goals for your money and create a year-end budget plan.

In This Episode

Things To Think About

  • Health Insurance – open enrollment is your annual chance to make changes to your health insurance plan! Don’t forget the HSA – your tax-free medical savings account!
  • Spend Down Your FSA – use it or lose it!
  • Insurance Checkups – can you get a better deal for car, life, homeowners, renters or other insurance?
  • RMD’s – take your Required Minimum Distributions on time, or suffer a 50% tax penalty!
  • Tax Credits & Deductions – some are designed for low & middle income!
  • Create a spending plan for your bonus!
  • Set goals for the new year!

Links and Resources

Downloadable checklist & helpful tips for your year-end “money do” listArticle “Budgeting Made Easy”​​Article “Expanding Your Budget”YNAB – my favorite budgeting app! – Everything on this site is FSA approved! – Everything on this site is HSA approved!

Year-End Money Do List Tips

What should be on your year-end “money-do” list? Anything financially related that has a deadline between now and December 31st.

Health Insurance Open Enrollment November 1st to December 15th

Get a health insurance checkup, to make sure your plan still fits your needs. Do you need more options, a lower premium or higher deductible? Shop around and get the best deal!

Contribute to Your HSA (Health Savings Account)

2018 Contribution limits: $3450 for individuals, $6900 for families Requires a high deductible health plan

Contributions are tax-deductible going in, and coming out, as long as you use the money for qualified medical purposes.

Money rolls over indefinitely, even if you no longer have an HDHP. Portable – Take it with you, even when you change jobs.

Investment options – earnings are tax free, as long as it’s spent on qualified medical expenses.
Use money for any purpose after 65, and pay only taxes owed.

Spend Down Your FSA (Flexible Spending Account)

Unlike the HSA, your FSA funds won’t roll over. Exception: some plans pro- vide a rollover option of up to $500 to next year’s balance, or a grace
period of a couple of months. Plans vary, check yours carefully.

Ways to spend down:

Scheduling doctor or dentist appointments by year end.
Get new glasses, or an eye exam, if you need them.
Visit Everything on their site is FSA eligible! How it works:

The amount of money you designate for the year appears in your account on January 1st. Payments come out of your check, pre-tax, all year long to pay for the lump sum.

Watch out!

If you have the option for both the HSA and FSA, be careful how you use them! There are limitations to using them together.

Savers Credit

Tax credit on the first $2,000 of 401K or IRA contributions

Singles with under $31,000 AGI, or married couples with under $62,000 combined AGI are eligible

(In addition to all your 401K and IRA contributions being tax-deductible)

RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions)

At 70 1⁄2, you must take annual required minimum distributions from 401K’s and IRA’s. Failure to do so will result in a 50% tax penalty.

Tax Consultation

Consider a consultation with a tax professional to make sure you’re taking advantage of all tax breaks, before the end of the year.

Insurance Checkups

Car, homeowners, renters’ life, etc. – Have things changed that require more or less coverage? Are your beneficiaries still up to date? Do you need any additional types of insurance?

Make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck!

Create a Spending Plan For Your Bonus!

Make a prioritized “wish list” of all the things you’d like to spend your bonus on.

Guesstimate the amount of your bonus (based on years past).

Earmark a certain dollar amount to each item until you reach zero.

Goal Setting For The New Year

Make a list of all your financial goals Prioritize in order of importance

Create a spending plan (read articles “Budgeting Made Easy” and “Expanding Your Budget” for help)

Consider YNAB as your budgeting tool!