KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - If you look at the calendar, you'll see there are less than two weeks left in the year. Now is the time to make preparations for some last minute money moves before 2017 ends.
Now is the time to update all your passwords for next year, especially those bank, credit card and other sensitive accounts. You could use a notebook and pen to record your new passwords, but a much better idea idea is using one of the numerous free password manager programs. Most will generate and store strong passwords for you. Then you only have to remember one.
Federal law entitles you to one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. You can do this in a matter of minutes and review it for mistakes or suspicious activity. Make sure you are requesting your reports from AnnualCreditReport.com, the official website for free credit reports.
If you have a teenager in the house, let him or her the mess of paperwork that you've accumulated all year and then shred the originals. If your kids are out of the house, don't worry. This is a rather mindless year-end task that can be accomplished during your annual viewing of "A Christmas Story." In other words, it won't take a lot of time.
This may not seem like a quick and easy money move, but if you have a simple estate, there's no reason to make things complicated. Search online for "will template" and your state, and you'll find all sorts of fill-in-the-blank wills that can be downloaded for free. If that doesn't sound like an adequate long term solution, have your will reviewed by an estate attorney.
The end of the year is a good time to review your designated beneficiaries and update them as needed. Did you get married, divorced or have children? Make sure you have the right people listed as your beneficiaries on your life insurance, bank accounts, and retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s.
Here's something you can do in a matter of an hour or so. Grab a bag and hurry through a room in your house, picking up everything you no longer love. That means old knickknacks, extra blankets and outgrown toys, among other things. When you're folding laundry, set aside everything that's too small, too big or too outdated for you. Load it up in the car and the next time you're out, drop it off at the Community Chest, Salvation Army or Goodwill store and ask for a receipt. Not only will you start 2018 with a less-cluttered house, but you'll also get a tax deduction and know that your contribution is being put to good use.