How To Prepare For A Great 2013 Financially

by Hank Coleman

How to keep your New Years resolutions this year.December not only represents the holiday season, but it also signifies the end of the year. We have just a few more weeks left of 2012, and 2013 will quickly be upon us. Rather than waiting until January to get our resolutions together, this is the perfect time to start preparing your finances for 2013. Now is the time to start preparing for a great 2013. Here are some things you can do to get started:

Gather your receipts: This is a good time to start gathering all of your important receipts from the things you purchased or donated this year. Many people get their W2s either at the end of this month or the beginning of next month, so having your receipts together will give you a jump start on your taxes.

Build your savings again: If you have utilized your savings to buy Christmas presents, you may want to start building your savings up again. If you’re anticipating an end of the year bonus, this would be the perfect time to add some money to your savings account.

Analyze your year’s spending: Take some time to go through the spending you did this year. If you have online banking, your bank may help you by having your statement available. Use a budgeting program to categorize how you spent your money, and see how it stacked up against your budget. Did you stay within your budget? You can make some adjustments to next year’s budget as you see fit.

See how much time you have left in debt: If you have some debt to pay off, make it your goal to reduce or eliminate that debt in 2013. Make a plan to make more than the minimum payment on your bills in order to pay your balances. Try to resist using your credit cards to buy gifts this holiday season as well.

Look for further opportunities at work: You have been working hard this year at work, and it may be the right time to ask for a promotion or raise. Consider your progress this year, and set up a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your growth with the company. That would be a great way to start off the new year.

Don’t miss open enrollment: If your job offers medical and health benefits, open enrollment may be closing before the end of the year. If you’re not already taking advantage of the benefits, you’ll want to enroll yourself and/or your family members before the deadline.

Get started on your business: Maybe 2012 was the year you decided you were going to start your own business, but 2013 is the year you’re going to make it happen. This is a great time to get started, while everyone else is slowing down business wise.

December is a great time for reflection, as well as action. Learn from all the things that happened this year, and make goals for what you want to happen in 2013.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and is currently pursuing his Certified Financial Planner credentials. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 525 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

John S @ Frugal Rules

Good tips! We actually started this a few weeks ago as we like to get it finished before the Holidays roll around and we’re busy with other things. This year we also get the uncertainty of what’s going to happen with the supposed Cliff too…which is why always like to focus on what I can control.
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TB at BlueCollarWorkman

THese are nice tips, and what else is great is how it reminds me that this is a great time of year to reassess. Not just finances, but how things are going in general. Great reminder!
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Jason @ WSL

I’m hoping to focus more on my business/blog in 2013 and I’m hoping that it’ll continue to grow. It’s funny you mention the receipts as I’m taking this afternoon to roundup all of the income and expenses I’ve had on the business. I’ve really slacked in that regard and it’s going to take awhile to put everything together!

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AverageJoe

Great reminder about open enrollment. It seems every year I found people forgetting that who worked with me. That could cost you dearly!
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The College Investor

The first of the year is always a great time to start a business to keep the financials easy. I started mine last year on Jan 3 officially, and I’m glad I did.

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Christopher @ This that and the MBA

Seeing how much we have left in debt is always depressing before the christmas season. it is a good practice to do though. I have really been slacking like Jason above in keeping receipts together for this side business.
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Shawn @ PipsToday

Great tips HANK. I already started to prepare a strong finance plan for 2013. It is taking time because I am collecting whole year(2012) data, after this I will go for data analysis and then some important strategies, plan will continue in 2013(which worked well in 2012). I am planning to start my own business in 2013 as well.
Shawn @ PipsToday recently posted..U.S. Fiscal CliffMy Profile

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Melvin Joseph

Simple and powerful tips. Thanks HANK for this post at the appropriate time. I am planing such an exercise for me too. Happy Christmas and a Great New Year. 2013 in advance.

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