1. REVIEW YOUR STOCK PORTFOLIO. The value of most people’s stock portfolios has plummeted. But that doesn’t mean that all of the stocks within it are down. Review each stock; is it worth holding onto? Make the most of your hopeless losses; find gains against which to write them off.
2. GO TO THE DOCTOR. By December, most, if not all, of your deductable has accrued. â€œThe winter holidays are the busiest time for elective surgery. End-of-the-year already-met deductibles are certainly a factor in scheduling,â€ says UCLA pediatric surgeon Nina L. Shapiro. So call your doctor! Make sure that you get those pre-approved appointments and elective procedures taken care of in December.
3. DON’T PLAY EVERYONE’S SANTA. Don’t go hog wild with holiday shopping so that you start the New Year with added debt. The holiday season is supposed to be about the joy of family and faith, not the newest product. While it’s lovely to have both, don’t let the consumerism of the season force you into debt.
4. TURN DOWN THE LIGHTS. Don’t light up your house like a Christmas tree. While the lights of the season are beautiful to look at, they are ugly on your electric bill. Southern California Edison is on a tier system, so the more electricity you use; the more it costs per kilowatt-hour. Celebrate the festivals of light traditionally â€“ with candles.
5. GIVE MORE FREELY. Attorney Eric Grodan has good news for the benevolent amongst us. â€œThe charitable IRA rollover bill was extended so you may take tax-free withdrawals from your qualified retirement plans up to $100,000 as long as these funds are distributed directly to a public, 501(c)(3) charity.â€