Starting next Wednesday the countdown to the end of the year begins. You many not even realize how much the day before Thanksgiving impacts your financial life, but I’m about to tell you.
Starting next week with the Thanksgiving holiday there is a collective exhale of breath. The year is almost over, the holidays are stacked up before you, and you’re ready to cruise into the new year. Yet, this is why you always hate your January. This is why you feel the need to set resolutions and push yourself so hard the first few weeks of the year. I’m calling for a different approach this year.
This year, keep your budget together. Realize that your food budget is going to be high for the next two months. Remember that travel expenses will add up as you go visit family. Be aware of self-gifting, which is a quintessential part of the exhale process. Here’s the truth: if you don’t hold your breath, you don’t need to do a big exhale. Your financial life doesn’t have to move in waves of stress and negligence. It’s typically this season that gets people off on the wrong foot for the following year. But not this year.
Ready for the challenging part? I want you to do even better. Push yourself by increasing your retirement contributions by 1% today. Yep, right now. Do it. Get it out of your head that the next two months don’t count. They do. By increasing your retirement fund right before a big spending season you are committing to making smart, forward-thinking financial decisions. And your January won’t be the worst.
Check out my Fox 59 segment featuring Ray’s Fitbit here:
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.