Calendar sheets with red pin and numbers 2018 on grey background represent start new year 2018, three-dimensional rendering, 3D illustration

With only a few weeks left in 2017, it’ll soon be time to hang stockings, light Menorahs, and figure out your resolutions for New Year’s Eve.

However, if you want to try to reduce your tax liability for 2018, time is running out. The reason is, many important tax deductions such as charitable giving and retirement contributions must be in place by December 31, 2017.

With that in mind, here are 5 money tips to help close out the year.

1.) Give like you mean it

It feels good to give. Additionally, it carries potential tax benefits. Now is the time to plan both cash and non-cash contributions to the charities of your choice. Ensure that each charity you support is recognized by the IRS, and keep receipts for all non-cash contributions – such as household items and office equipment.

2.) When to take income and when to wait

Looking into various ways to accelerate or defer income or deductions is something to consider. Business owners may find it makes sense to prepay next year’s expenses now or delay invoices until the beginning of 2018. Employed individuals may want to ask employers to delay 2017 end-of-year bonuses.

3.) Your portfolio

As year-end approaches, take time to analyze your portfolio. Is it time to rebalance allocations? As part of that process, you may find underperforming stocks that you’d like to sell. It’s possible to reap tax benefits by disposing of those stocks and use the losses to offset capital gains you may have realized during the year. Consider speaking with a tax professional for guidance.

4.) Look back and assess

It’s easy to lose track of your spending the past year. So, take the time now to see where your money actually went. This will help you figure out how much you may need for the holidays, and also give you some insight so you can fine tune your spending for 2018.

5.) Don’t forget non-financial goals

Forget finances for a minute — what do you want to accomplish in terms of personal ambitions in 2018? Maybe it’s the year to start a new job or a side business or take a special vacation you’ve always dreamed of. Maybe you want to spend more time with family, or in the gym. Whatever it is, now is a good time to consider changing things up.

Takeaway

The end of the year always comes faster than we think. Go ahead and get started now while there’s a little time left. The effort you put in can help you roll into the holiday season with a little less worry, and a little more cheer.