December’s Financial To-Dos

December’s Financial To-Dos

Each month this year, we have offered suggestions for ways to chip away at your financial goals. By doing at least one thing each month, you can make significant progress. We wrap up the year with reflection, generosity and planning ahead.

Reflect on the year

Take some time to reflect on the last 12 months, so you’re set up to thrive in the year ahead. Begin with two columns on a sheet of paper: title the first column “Life-Giving,” and the second one “Unfulfilling.” In the first column, record the activities that were fulfilling, gave you life, were enjoyable, left you feeling stronger and satisfied. In the second column, note the things that felt draining, disheartening, discouraging and left you feeling empty.

Consider activities across the spectrum of your life, from work and professional endeavors to charitable commitments, hobbies and recreation. It can help to look back at your calendar. For example, maybe committing to the monthly book club left you drained, but volunteering at your daughter’s high school left you fulfilled.

Ultimately, this reflection is designed to help you embark on a more fulfilling life in the year to come. As you fill each column, notice patterns and rhythms in each area. This reflection positions you well for the year ahead. You’ll find yourself more eager to say yes to what gives you life, and better able to say no to the things that drain you.

Prioritize giving generously and strategically

‘Tis the season of year-end giving, and you’ve likely fielded more than a few nonprofit donation requests already. Many of us take the “shotgun approach” to giving, responding to appeals with random, haphazard contributions. Too often, we give without a plan in place, and although the donations add up, it’s hard to pinpoint the impact of our generosity.

Rather than responding haphazardly to each request with a token gift, prioritize intentional giving. Shift to a strategic giving pattern by asking these three important questions. Consider a Donor-Advised Fund to streamline your philanthropy. Making a year-end gift to a Donor-Advised Fund allows you to receive your deduction immediately, then take your time planning where and when you want charities to receive donations. And when you do make a major gift, staying engaged with the organization will make your philanthropy more impactful.

Make an appointment with your Wealth Advisor for next year

One small positive action can have a domino effect in financial success, and meeting with a financial advisor is a critical step towards a strong year ahead. Sound Stewardship clients should already have their next quarterly meeting on the calendar. If you’re considering working with a financial advisor, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We deliver personalized financial planning based on timeless principles, and we welcome the chance to serve you. Contact Sound Stewardship today to request a call from a wealth advisor.

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