Ladies, what end-of-year financial steps do you plan to take in the next few months? Besides making sure to buy a new planner (if you’re a paper-planner person, that is) and finish your holiday shopping, another thing to do before the end of the year is to take time to focus on your financial situation. Besides quick things like reviewing your W-4 deductions to decide if they’re still appropriate and checking that your employer has your current address on file so that you’ll definitely receive your W-2, taking these seven year-end career and financial steps will build a good foundation for the months to come:
How does buying a home affect your finances? How can you best prepare for it? This is a huge topic, but we’re going to attempt to take it on as part of our Money Milestones series, which explores how a few big milestones in your life can really affect your finances. So far we’ve looked at wedding budgets, how to financially prepare for a baby, and how to pay for grad school.
This can be a tricky issue, and we’ve covered a lot of the hows in my last post on owning property (where we also discussed whether to buy a home when you’re still single), as well as in our discussion on where you live is one of the biggest money decisions you make. Some thoughts on how to prepare for and survive a home purchase:
2014 update: you may want to check out our latest discussion of emergency funds.
We noticed that our post on savings seemed to be a popular one, so we thought we’d start another discussion on money and investing. Today we’re wondering, dear readers, about your emergency funds: how did you calculate the amount, how do you store it, and how often do you reevaluate the amount and the storage situation? (Pictured: Comme des Garcons Large Zip-Around Wallet, available at Saks.com for $325.)
A caveat, at the beginning: we are not experts in financial advice.
The emergency fund, though, is one of those basic topics that you read about. If you’re in debt, they say, save for your emergency fund first, and then begin paying off debt. If you’re not in debt, they say, save for your emergency fund — and keep it liquid — before you start investing in the market. The emergency fund is supposed to be there as a a cushion in case you or your spouse lose your job, or if some other emergency comes up, such as medical needs or a car accident. [Read more…]