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5 Things To Do Before New Year’s

You have exactly three days until 2009 is officially over, but there are still some things you should make sure are done before you start 2010. Below is a short list of five things you should do before the end of the year.

  1. Don’t Lose Your Benefits
    If you have a flex spending account that you’ve been contributing to, do what HR says and use it or lose it.
  2. Lower Your Taxable Income
    • Be Charitable
      Donations can be helpful to those in need and can also let you lower your taxable income a bit.

      • Donate money to your favorite charity
      • Donate clothes, furniture or other items you no longer need or want but can still be useful to others
    • Take Losses on Your Stocks
      • Was 2009 a bad year for your portfolio?  You can claim a capital loss and write it off on your taxes if you sell your poor performers before the end of the year.  If the loss is greater than $3,000, you can carry it over to future years.  You can also sell your losers to offset any capital gains you’ve had this year.
    • Save for Retirement
      • Contribute to your individual retirement account.  You can donate up to $5,000 to your IRA or $6,000 if you’re 50 or older.  You’re actually able to contribute until April 2010 and still make the claim on your 2009 tax return, but if you have trouble putting money away, this is a great time to start making smaller, monthly contributions.
  3. Reconnect With an Old Friend
    • Did that just make you think of someone you haven’t spoken with recently?  If so, take the time to get back in touch with them whether that be making plans to spend time together or just setting aside some time to talk with them over the phone.
  4. Reflect On 2009
    • Think about what you enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about 2009 and work on repeating or correcting them in 2010.
  5. Enjoy New Year’s Eve!
    • In 3 days, 2009 is over and however good or bad of a year you had, you now have 365 days to make 2010 a great and memorable year.  Have fun this New Year’s Eve and start getting ready for 2010 because before you know it, you’ll be celebrating the beginning of 2011!

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