MADISON (WKOW) -- The holiday season can be a lot of fun, but it can also be costly. So, it's a good idea to know some smart financial moves for the end of the year, and how to manage your holiday budget.
Brent Lindell, a financial advisor with Savant Capital Management, says there are a few things you should do before the end of the year to keep yourself in good standing.
One way he says to do that is to max out your 401(k). He says you can make adjustments in the last few paychecks of the year and those pretax contributions will lower the tax bite, which he says will give you a greater refund come April 15th.
Lindell says this is the best tax savings strategy for most Americans. But he says to not fully rely on Social security. Lindell says to at least contribute up to the maximum that the company will match.
As far as investments, Lindell says to review your investment philosophy if you bailed out of stocks and bought bonds earlier this year.
Lindell says if you have losses, harvest them. He says that if you lost money in any of your stock or fund positions in this positive market, consider selling before December 31 to realize the loss for tax purposes.
Another way to get some deductions and do some good for the community, is to make a charitable donation.
Now as far as the holidays go, Lindell says you need to manage your holiday budget. He says to realistically asses your current financial condition, establish a budget and stick to it.
Lindell says you should create a checklist to determine how much you are going to spend on each person you are shopping for.
Using coupons or special offers when purchasing gifts can help cut down on the cost. But Lindell says to be wary of opening up new credit accounts simply for additional discounts.
Lindell says it's also a good idea to pay off the January credit card bill in full because interest charges quickly negate the special bargains you searched so hard for.