smart spending

5 fixes for your own fiscal year

Get the most from your job
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Get the most from your job

With three months of 2011 left on the calendar, you still have time to make the most of those employer benefits. Check out a couple of important items, says Dallas Salisbury, president and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

  • Verify how many vacation days you have left and when they expire.
  • Exploit unused sick days to cover doctor or dental appointments you need to fit in before the end of the calendar year.
  • Make sure you've used all the money in your flexible spending account.
  • Max out the employer match on your 401(k). And check that you're on track to meet your personal retirement savings goals.

And while you're at it, it's also a good time to make sure you're networking and polishing your skills, says Martin Yate, author of "Knock 'em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World."

Sign up for a class, select a couple of industry or network events to attend (armed with business cards), and subscribe to (or renew) one of your field's top publications.

"In a world where job security is something no one can rely on," he says, "keeping job search, networking and career management skills up to speed is simply enlightened self-interest."


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