October is a great month to tidy up your financial life so you can head into the fun of the holiday season. Here are some easy tasks for your financial to-do list.
1) Check Your Withholding: Are you withholding too much or too little income tax from your paycheck? This is a good time to tweak the amount, if necessary. Tax planning now gives you ample time before December 31 to correct withholding so there are no surprises next April.
2) Review Your Insurance Coverage: You should review your home, auto, life, pet, umbrella and other insurance coverage at least once a year. Even if you haven’t had a major life change or new purchases, you should think in “what-ifs” as you assess your policies. Schedule a review with your agent to make sure your coverage reflects your current needs.
3) Establish Your Holiday Budget: Now is the time to brainstorm about December, determine how much to spend, and start your list. Plan for the sales on big-ticket items and pay attention to any hints from friends and family for gift ideas. Having your shopping done well in advance is the best way to enjoy a low-stress holiday season.
4) Check Your Credit Score: Check your credit score for free at AnnualCreditReport.com and review it for accuracy. A misspelled name, incorrect Social Security number, or discovery of a fraudulent credit account in your name can hurt your future ability to get a credit card or loan. If you find a mistake, contact the credit bureau immediately to start the process of correcting the information.
5) Change Your Oil and Buy New Tires: Tires often go on sale in October to encourage everyone to prepare their vehicle for winter. Also schedule an oil change and regular maintenance to ensure your car stays safe on the road. You’ll have peace of mind as you head into snow season.