Smart Money Moves to Make at the End of the Year

You know how most people wait until January for New Year's Resolutions? Yeah, you really shouldn't do that with your money. In fact, you're behind the eight ball if you do.

The good news is the end of the year is a great time to make some financial moves. You're likely already reviewing your financials for the year anyway, so why not take another step and actually start improving your finances now?

There are some financial moves you pretty much have to do at the end of the year. That's just how they are set up. Here are some of the end-of-year financial plans I'm making and some you can make as well.

Shop for better health insurance options

If you're responsible for purchasing your own health insurance, the end of the year is the time you're likely looking at your options because of Open Enrollment.

There's a lot of stuff still up in the air as it pertains to the cost of health insurance right now, and I won't get into all of that, but I will tell you to think with your wallet.

In my case, that looks like opting out of Obamacare completely and looking for another alternative. I've found way better options outside of my state's healthcare exchange that will save me over $100 a month and give me better coverage.

Get those tax deductions

If you haven't made any necessary purchases for your business throughout the year, now is the time to do it so you can lower your tax bill. On the personal side, you may want to consider donating to some charitable causes to bring down your tax liability.

Just note that in both cases there are certain rules you have to follow. Don't spend money on your business if you don't actually need to because you won't get 100% of it back. As for the charitable contributions, remember you'll have to itemize them on your tax return.

Beef up your retirement account

Another financial move that can help you save and cut you a break on your taxes is to beef up your retirement account.

If you have a Traditional IRA or 401(k), you can deduct your contributions from your annual gross income and possibly lower your tax bracket. Of course, this is so long as you don't exceed the annual contribution limits.

Talk to your financial team

If you have an accountant, talk to them to see what some of the best financial moves may be for your situation. It's one thing to read about it online, it's another thing entirely to get personalized advice from a professional.

While you're at it, you should probably set up a meeting with your financial advisor, too. They can help you come up with the appropriate goals for the coming year.

If you don't have either of these professionals in your circle yet, make 2017 the year you start building your financial team.