All year, you wanted to get your finances together. No worries: There's still time to make smart moves that will pay off in 2013 and beyond.
Get organized. eview this year's spending and income. Determine where you might cut costs and create a sensible budget for 2013, said Leslie Tayne, a Melville financial attorney. Spend a few minutes weekly sorting and compiling information and receipts to make sure you find all tax deductions and credits, said Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Freedom Financial Network in Phoenix.
Work your deductible. Many health-plan deductibles reset every calendar year. If you've already met yours for 2012, or are close, medical care before Dec. 31 may cost less. If you expect a lot of health care expenses in 2013, schedule nonemergency medical care for early next year to quickly fulfill your deductible, said Kevin Mendonsa, consumer specialist with eHealthInsurance.com.
Tackle taxes. With tax breaks expiring and tax hikes expected, be strategic. "Take advantage of the current gift-giving and estate-tax exemptions before the tax rates and exemptions change again," said Mark Meinberg, managing partner with accounting firm MayerMeinberg in Syosset.
Don't panic. Don't run out and sell losing investments just for tax-loss harvesting. "Depending on the election, high-income investors may be better off taking this year's potential losses in 2013," said Mitchell Goldberg, president of ClientFirst Strategy in Dix Hills.