Make These Money Moves Before the Year Ends

As the holidays are in full swing, the end of the year is fast approaching. That means time is running out to make important financial moves before December 31st.

There things you should do at the end of every year to keep your financial house in order. Sound like a chore? Not really. Most of this stuff you can do during commercial breaks while watching TV.

First: Passwords. You need to change them more often than annually, but if you haven't done it, do it now. Best solution? A free program that creates and remembers passwords automatically. You just remember one, it does the rest.

Next: Check your credit report. In less than 5 minutes, you can get a free copy from each of the big three agencies.

How about your 401(k) or other investments? Is it time to re-balance? Stare at your investment statements for a few minutes and see if you've got the right mix of stocks and bonds. And while you're at it, think about your taxes. Are there losses you can take now that will reduce your taxes in April?

And speaking of taxes...You know you're going to clean out those drawers, closets or storage rooms sometime. During a commercial break or two, grab some stuff you don't want. Next time you go out, drop it off and earn a tax-deductible contribution.

Another easy task while watching TV: scan some important papers and store them online. You'll clear clutter, protect yourself and get more organized at the same time.

And finally: make a will. If you don't have one, at least do something quick, easy and cheap online. It only takes a few minutes.

Did you know the average football game has about 100 minutes of commercials? That's enough time to do almost everything I just mentioned. So watch a game, and start the new year organized. Want more ideas? I've got a bunch waiting for you right here at Just do a search for "money moves."