How Do I Give Myself an End-of-Year Financial Review

Q: With 2020 drawing to a close, I’d love to give myself an end-of-year financial review.  Where do I begin?

A: Giving yourself an end-of-year financial review is a great way to start the new year with your finances in top shape. Here’s all you need to know about this end-of-year ritual.

Step 1: Review all your debts and create a payoff plan

List all of your debts and their interest rates. Have you made any real progress toward paying them off this year?

If your debt needs some help, you have two primary options for how to proceed:

  • The avalanche method. Focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. When it is paid off, continue onto the debt with the second-highest interest rate. Move through the list until you’ve paid off all debts.
  • The snowball method. Work your way through your debts, starting with the lowest-balance debt, and then move to the next, applying what you would have paid to the previous debt. Repeat until all are paid off.

Step 2: Automate your savings

Make savings easy by making it automatic. Give us a call at to set up an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings account. This way, you’ll never forget to put money into savings again.

Step 3: Review the progress you have (or haven’t) made on financial goals

Have you made measurable progress toward your financial goals in 2020?

Take a few minutes to review your goals, taking note of your progress and determining how you can move toward better achieving those you didn’t quite achieve.

Step 4: Review your retirement account(s) and investments

As you work through this crucial step, be sure to review the following variables:

  • Your employer’s matching contributions. Are you leaving money on the table?
  • The maximum IRA contribution limits for 2021. You will likely need to make adjustments.
  • Management fees and expense ratios for your investments. Fees should ideally be less than 0.1%.
  • Your stock/bond ratio and investing style. Do you want to make any changes?

Step 5: Set new financial goals for 2021

As you finish reviewing your financial progress for the past year, look forward to accomplishing greater financial goals in the coming year.

Set goals that are SMART:






Wishing you a financially healthy New Year!

Don’t Fall Prey to a Holiday Toy Scam

Scammers famously exploit high-stress times, and the pre-holidays shopping frenzy is no exception. That’s why the BBB is warning of an uptick in holiday toy scams which can be difficult to spot.

Here’s what you need to know about these scams.

How the scam plays out

Every year, there are a few must-have toys on most kids’ wish lists. These choice picks become the hottest-selling items and are plucked off shelves in a wink. Unfortunately for anyone who didn’t shop early enough, these toys soon become impossible to find. The parents search desperately, but to no avail.

Here’s where the scammer steps in. Armed with a bogus website and some crafty online tracking, the scammer targets the vulnerable shopper with ads and online messages to draw the shopper to the scammer’s site. On the authentic-looking site, the shopper finally finds what they seek — the sought-after toy! Often, the toy is also deeply discounted. The purchase is completed within minutes.

Unfortunately, though, the scammer will send a cheap knockoff that doesn’t work or quickly breaks. When contacted for a refund, the scammer refuses to provide one or offers only to refund a small percentage of the purchase price. Sometimes, they’ll also charge an exorbitant amount of money for shipping it back to the company, almost making the small refund not worthwhile.

Red flags

Here’s how to spot these scams:

  • The seller has a large supply of toys that are in high demand.
  • The website is not secure.
  • The seller is offering a steep discount due to a “flash sale” or “last-minute” deal.
  • The seller’s website is full of spelling and/or grammatical errors.

Stay safe

Keep yourself safe when shopping online with these tips:

  • Research before you buy. Avoid purchasing an expensive item from a company you’ve never heard of before without doing some digging.
  • Look for the lock icon and the “s” after the “http” on the URL before buying anything.
  • Review item return policies before making a purchase.
  • Pay with credit for purchase protection power.
  • Keep your security software up to date.
  • Hang on to any purchase order confirmations.
  • Don’t trust links in unsolicited emails. Scammers will often impersonate reputable websites in order to gain access to your account information. Go to a company website directly when looking for an item.
  • If you believe you’ve been targeted by a holiday toy scam, end all contact with the seller immediately. Alert the BBB and let your friends know about the circulating scam as well.

Shop safely this holiday season!

Products for Managing and Tracking Business Expenses

Running a flourishing business means overseeing a constant flow of money. Luckily, though, there are products that can help you with managing and tracking business expenses effectively and smoothly. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Business checking accounts

A designated business checking account can help with managing and tracking business expenses, taxes and revenue. Separate accounts also protect business owners from losing personal assets if action is taken against the company. A business checking account is used to deposit checks made out to their company and to cover business expenses, such as payroll or paying suppliers.

If you’re looking to open a business checking account, a High Point Federal Credit Union Business Checking Account can be a great choice. Learn about our business checking account and its convenient features by clicking here.

Business savings account

A business savings account is an account designated for funds to be used in case of emergency or for future business expenses. The money in this account will grow at a greater dividend rate, but access to funds is more limited.

Opening a High Point Federal Credit Union Business Savings Account will provide you with a competitive dividend rate and a variety of terms. If you’re ready to open a business savings account, call, click, or stop by High Point Federal Credit Union today.

Business credit card

A business credit card provides small business owners with easy access to a revolving line of credit. Business owners can use the credit to cover large expenses, make purchases, or meet monthly bill payments.

A business credit card is easier to qualify for in comparison to a business loan, but will nearly always have a higher interest rate. If the business owner is careful only to use the credit card when it is absolutely necessary and pays the bill before it’s due, interest will not accrue.

If you’re looking to open a business credit card, look no further than High Point Federal Credit Union. We offer business credit cards for small businesses as well as options for larger businesses with multiple users. Learn more about our business accounts and services by calling (716) 372-6607 today!

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