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December is good time for financial review

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Financial coach Kelsa Dickey (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Financial coach Kelsa Dickey (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

The month of December keeps us all busy. There are parties, shopping and holiday traveling to plan.

With that said, it's easy for many consumers to lose sight of their financial matters.

"It's already a really hectic time of year, but now is actually the best time to get organized so that you go into the new year feeling really good about where you stand financially," said Valley financial coach Kelsa Dickey.

She said there are some things you can do right now to give you some financial peace of mind before we hit 2017.

"We're still going be spending money, we're still going to be out of our routine maybe a little bit this month," she said. "But, if we can do three things this month to get organized it makes us feel like not all was lost."

First, Dickey said review your bank and credit card statements.

"It's really common this time of year to find a charge that's automatic that maybe you forgot you had," she said. "You want to cancel it or you signed up for a free trial and forgot to cancel it, so it's a really good time to catch those things."

Next, Dickey recommends making sure to use your flex spending accounts before the end of the year so the money isn't wasted.   

"So, make sure you're submitting those receipts," she advised. "If you've got some left in there and you don't spend it, you will forfeit the money. Get your dental appointments done, get your eyeglasses ordered or your contacts ordered, those sorts of things."

Another thing is remember charitable donations if you want to claim them on taxes. There are a lot of charitable donations you can make and you want to make sure you do those by Dec. 31.

Dickey also said now is the best time to meet with your tax person or accountant to figure out what needs to be done before the year's end.

"They can really help you now better than they can in March," Dickey said.

And finally, she said this month is a good time to review your credit report. You can get your free report through www.annualcreditreport.com. Make sure you only use this site and don't be fooled by copycat sites.

Dickey said these tips should keep you in good financial health so you have a smooth transition into the new year.

"And simply by doing these steps in December it helps you to feel like you have some kind of control over the things you can control," she said.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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