It’s November. It’s a time to put up the Halloween costumes, get out the family sweet potato casserole recipe, crank up the Christmas music (I just made some of you really upset), and be grateful for all the good things God has given you.
November is also a month to make a few important money moves. As you look at your finances this month, be sure to consider these five money moves:
1. Wrap up your holiday spending plans.
At this point, your holiday spending plan should pretty much be in place. You’ve determined how much will be spent on holiday gifts, travel, and entertainment. You should have money set aside for these items, preventing you from incurring holiday debt. Do not be one who ends up paying for November and December during January, February, and March.
2. Enroll in your employee benefits.
Many employers plan enrollment period occurs during the month of November. If you are unsure when enrollment takes place, contact your employer’s human resources department. Make sure you know how the plan works and how you can benefit the most from it. For plans with multiple options, weigh anticipated medical expense against the cost of a plan. If you anticipate greater medical expenses, you may opt for a lower deductible plan instead of a higher deductible plan. Of course, if you have questions or are overwhelmed by the information, get assistance from your employer’s human resources department.
How can we, the recipients of the most generous gift ever given, not be generous to others?
3. Determine your preferred 2022 housing allowance number.
This one is for ministers, as defined by the IRS. Don’t wait until the last minute to determine your preferred housing allowance number, which could have a big impact on your 2022 taxes. You can use the lesser of these three amounts: the amount you spend on your home, the fair rental value of your home, or the amount designated by your church. Consult IRS guidelines to accurately calculate each of these numbers. You can also refer to Housing Allowance for Ministers: Made Easy or other available resources on the topic.
4. Get a side gig.
Need some extra cash for the holidays? There is an abundance of part-time and full-time opportunities available. Seasonal jobs are popping up everywhere and many of them offer a decent hourly wage. You could also consider delivery services like Shipt or Grubhub. The holiday season is busy and many will be willing to pay for these time-saving services.
5. Let generosity flow from gratitude.
November provides a unique time to reflect on the good things God has given you. This November, let generosity overflow from your gratitude. How can we, the recipients of the most generous gift ever given, not be generous to others? Consider, at least, one way you can reflect the generous character of our God to neighbors and community this month.