Tips for Getting Your Financial House in Order Before Year-End

Here are a few simple tips for getting your finances ready for the end of the year.
Here are a few simple tips for getting your finances ready for the end of the year.

The days are getting cooler, and the end of the year is creeping up on us. Before you get caught up in holiday planning, spend a little time getting ready for the end of the year financially.

Easy – And Rewarding

One of the easiest – and most rewarding – tips is to use your flexible spending accounts before you lose it. That’s right, you now have an excuse to spend those last few hundred dollars on a new pair of glasses or acupuncture treatment. During this stressful time of year, those last FSA dollars can really improve your quality of life.

Get Ready for Tax Season

You may want to check out the IRS’ tips for end-of-year tax planning, including:

  1. Address updates: If you’ve moved, make sure your employer, banks, and financial service companies have your current address to ensure you’ll receive your tax documents in January.
  2. Withholding: If you are employed, it may be time to update your IRS Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. If your income has increased, you can increase withholding over these two months. You can increase withholding in November and December and still be in compliance. The IRS Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov may be helpful.

Plan Charitable Contributions

Kristin McKenna recently posted some year-end financial planning tips on Forbes.com. One of her key takeaways was to plan your charitable contributions before the end of the year hits. Remember, “bunching” your cash donations can help you reach the standard deduction ($24,400 for married taxpayers filing jointly in 2019). This could be a good time to add to your existing Donor-Advised Fund with The San Diego Foundation (or create one).

Planning ahead will help prevent a last-minute scramble – and ensure that you are able to maximize your tax deductions. Waiting too long could limit your ability to receive the maximum tax advantage for 2019, especially if you plan to donate appreciated stock or other non-cash assets. If you are donating mutual funds, they’ll need to arrive to The Foundation by November 22. (Learn more about what kinds of assets you can donate to The Foundation in our Year-End Giving Guide.)

Here are some key TSDF deadlines you‘ll want to keep in mind as you plan ahead:

Asset Type Deadline
Mutual Fund Mutual fund donations must arrive to The Foundation by November 22.
Stock Stock donations must arrive to The Foundation brokerage accounts by December 20 at 1:00pm.
Credit Card Credit card donations must be processed by The Foundation by December 31 at 12:00pm.
Cash Cash donations should be hand-delivered to our Liberty Station office by December 31 at 12:00pm.
Check Mail must be postmarked by the U.S. Post Office by December 31.
Grantmaking
Grants Grants guaranteed to be postmarked before December 31 must be received by December 19 at 12:00pm.

View the Year-End Giving Guide