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5 Smart Money Moves to Make This Fall

As the leaves begin to change color, it's time to start thinking about your year-end money strategy. The fall and winter holidays are closer than you think. Use the following strategies to make the rest of the year count.

1. Clean out your closet. You looked into your closet and decided you have nothing to wear. Before you start buying new clothes, pull out your cold-weather clothes and give them a good look. Try them on to make sure everything still fits and donate what you no longer wish to keep.

2. Add holidays into your budget. This year, the year-end holiday celebrations will likely be virtual rather than in-person, so you’re less likely to have travel expenses, but there’s still a chance you may overspend on gifts and decorations. If you haven't already made a spending plan for them, do so now. Figure out how much you can afford to spend and stick to that amount.

3. Up your 401(k). If your budget can handle it, why not increase your retirement deductions by 1%? The more you save now, the more tax benefits you’ll get, AND the less you have to worry about the future.

4. Spend your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollars. Use it or lose it. You've already saved this money, so don't leave it on the table. Check your FSA documentation to see what health-related expenses qualify for coverage and make sure you put those dollars to use.

5. Plan to use your vacation days. You’ve earned your vacation days, and it’s important to use them, especially if your paid time off doesn’t roll over to the next year. If you’re hesitant to travel, a staycation is a great opportunity to host special dinners or use your free time to try something new. If you’re open to travel, and if you plan now, you can even save for a safe weekend getaway before the end of the year.

As the weather turns colder, it's a great time to shift focus to wrapping up the year’s loose ends to start the year ahead on the right foot.

Source: Copyright Credit Union National Association, Inc.