3 Key Financial Moves to Make in December 2022

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • The end of the year is a good time to boost your near-term and long-term savings.
  • It's also the perfect time to squeeze out additional tax savings.

Put these on your list to end 2022 on a high note.

It's hard to believe that 2022 is almost at an end. But here we are, deep in the throes of the holiday season just counting down to 2023.

Now at this point, you may be focused on finishing up your holiday shopping, finalizing your late December travel plans, and figuring out what to do on New Year's Eve. And so you may be less focused on financial matters.

But actually, now's a great time to examine your finances ahead of the new year. And it especially pays to tackle these key money moves before 2022 comes to a close.

1. Boost your emergency fund

Many financial experts still seem convinced that a recession will strike in 2023. Now we can't say with certainty that that's going to happen. But it's a good idea to prepare for that possibility by giving your emergency fund a lift. And it especially pays to do so if you don't have enough cash in your savings account to cover three full months of essential bills.

Of course, finding more money for savings can be tricky in December given the number of holiday expenses you might be looking at. But if you're able to pick up a side gig this month, it might help you cover your holiday purchases and also boost your savings balance nicely.

2. Bump up your year-end 401(k) or IRA contributions

If you haven't maxed out your 401(k) or IRA this year, now's a good time to try to sneak more money into your retirement plan. If you're saving in a traditional IRA or 401(k), as opposed to a Roth, the more you contribute, the less 2022 income the IRS will get to tax you on. Plus, you'll need money to cover your living costs during retirement, so the more funds you pump into your long-term savings now, the better.

Now if you have an IRA, you should know that you get until next year's mid-April tax-filing deadline to make contributions that count for the 2022 tax year. But 401(k)s work differently. If you want your contributions to count for 2022 purposes, that money needs to be in your account by Dec. 31. And since an increase in 401(k) contributions has to go through your payroll department, the sooner you put in that request, the better.

3. Eke out last-minute tax savings with charitable donations

If you itemize on your tax return, giving more money to charity this month could result in a nice tax break. But it's not just cash donations you can write off. You can also claim a deduction for donated goods as long as you stick to their fair market value, which is what they're worth at the time of your donation (as opposed to what they were worth when they were brand-new).

In fact, now's a good time to clean out your closets and basement to make room for an influx of holiday gifts. If you come across items you no longer have a use for, consider donating them to a registered charity. You might benefit financially from a tax perspective, but also, more importantly, help out a person in need.

Checking these moves off your list could benefit you in many ways. So do your best to ramp up your savings and set yourself up to lose less of your hard-earned money to taxes. You'll be thankful you did.

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee! Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow