Optimize Your Annual Finances In Q4 With Monthly Money Tasks

The fourth fiscal quarter (Q4) is the most important time of the year financially. This time will define your progress after nine months-worth of effort to meet your financial goal. Ending the year with financial stability in Q4 can set you up for a stable start to the new fiscal year and you’ll be ready to continue in the following year. 


One standard financial task in the first month of Q2, Q3, and Q4 is reevaluating your goals to see what goals you have achieved, which ones should be a priority, and making goals to make the most out of the end of the fiscal year. Another standard task is increasing your savings rate by 1% which can add up to 15% if you continue over the span of five years with minimal effort. 


Similar to September, you can use this month to review the beneficiaries of your financial accounts in which you should also choose a primary and secondary beneficiary. This month is also a good time to review your health insurance to see if you’ve reached your deductible so you can schedule appointments or procedures with maximum coverage before your deductible renews.

If you have an FSA with a remaining balance, you should use it before you use it as your account will also renew and you’ll lose access to those funds. November is traditionally a time to renew or find new health insurance coverage that also gives you a chance to plan for health expenses to expect when the policy is enacted.  


The last month of the year gives you an opportunity to wrap up any financial goals for the year while preparing for next year ahead of time. This is the optimal time to rebalance your assets portfolio as one of the biggest investing mistakes is improper asset allocation.
You can analyze your portfolio using an online program like Personal Capital’s free portfolio optimizer that will evaluate the diversity of your portfolio. This program can also determine whether there are any tax-loss harvesting opportunities that you can offset gains in the case of investment losses.

December is also a good time to donate to a charity of your choice that can be deductible when you file your taxes the following year. This is the perfect time to donate as you have already taken care of your annual finances following the monthly financial goals to have any remaining funds to donate. One thing to keep in mind when considering this option is that in 2019 a standard deduction increased to $12,200 for single filers and $24,400 for spouses that file joint taxes. Taking the standard deduction while filing will prevent you from filing an itemized list resulting in not getting credit for your charitable donation.

Following these monthly financial goals will ensure you’re managing your annual finances to the best of your abilities and establish healthy financial practices. A big help with managing these financial goals is by using a planner or calendar that will also help keep track of what you need to get done and have a record of your finances to build a budget for the following year.