By Jenni Riley, FPQPTM
This is the time of year when we start winterizing our home, but it can also be a time to winterize your finances. Sometimes the two go hand in hand. Home inefficiencies can put a slow leak in your budget. Here are some steps to help keep the chill of winter at bay.
Change your furnace filters – Doing so allows the furnace to operate more efficiently and help clean the air so you can breathe easier.
Feel for drafts -Check all your doors and windows to ensure they are weather-stripped.
Program your thermostat – By having your thermostat set to turn down right after you leave for the day and when you go to bed can add up the savings.
Perform an energy audit – If your home is older, it may be time to look at your insulation, furnace, and single-pane windows. These can be larger-ticket items, but an investment in increasing your home’s energy efficiency could be a smart investment.
Your energy costs are not the only thing freezing your wallet during the winter months. You can start planning now to avoid the last-minute scramble to offset some expenses.
Plan out your holiday gifting – Set a budget for each person on your list and stick to it. Start finding the gift that will be meaningful now, and you can spread the expenditures out over the next couple of months instead of all at the same time.
Start working on next year’s plan – In October of each year, the Social Security Administration typically announces any cost-of-living increases for the coming year, potentially impacting the budgets of retirees. Open enrollment for Medicare Parts C and D has begun, and the deadline is December 7. For those still working, create a plan to maximize your contributions to your retirement accounts.
End-of-year planning – Talk to your advisor to see if there are strategies you should put in place to balance realized capital gains and losses where appropriate. Talk to your financial professionals to see if bunching your charitable donations makes sense for you.
A little planning now can keep your wallet from being left out in the cold.
Jenni Riley, FPQPTM is a Financial Paraplanner Qualified ProfessionalTM and Director of Operations. Hazlett Wealth Management, LLC. is not a registered broker/dealer, and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal amount invested. 675 Sun Valley Road Suites J1 + J2 Ketchum, Idaho 83340 , 208.726.0605. HazlettWealthManagement.com