With a new year right in front of us, now is the perfect time to give yourself a head start preparing for a brighter financial future. While many New Year’s resolutions quickly fade to the back of the closet of good intentions, there are some easy ways to begin to bring you financial peace of mind.
• Start (or increase) your retirement contributions 1% at a time in your 401k, 403b, or other workplace retirement plan. There will barely be a difference in your take home pay, because of the reduction in tax withholding.
• Take advantage of an employer contribution match (free money!).
• Use your tax refund to contribute to an IRA. If you end up with a sizeable refund when you file your taxes, you can use up to $5,500 ($6,500 if you are over age 50) to fund an IRA.
• Keep a vehicle that is paid off for an extra couple of years. Most vehicles today are made well enough to run long after a loan is paid off. Set aside an amount to take care of routine maintenance and repairs, and use the rest of the savings each month to add to your retirement savings.
By: Ross G. Allen, CFP ®