This time of year, the warmer temps have us dreaming of and planning for summer vacations which can distract us from financial matters. However, instead of delaying the inevitable there are some key things to put on your financial to-do list to help position yourself better for the future.
Tackle these things now so you can truly relax this summer.
Adjust Tax Withholding: If you received a tax refund of $1,000 or more you should consider adjusting your withholding. If you do not anticipate any significant changes to your situation it may make sense to change your withholding so that you get more money in your check each pay period. On the flip side, if you owed money to the government, adjusting your withholding can help you prevent another big tax bill next April.
Review Insurance Coverage: Review all of your insurance policies to make sure you are not under-insured and subjecting you or your family to risk. Also make sure to have the proper resources of cash set aside to cover any deductibles and co-insurance payments required. Putting a little money each month into an emergency fund can lessen the stress in situations truly unexpected.
Review your Investment Portfolio: Think about your short-term and long-term goals and make sure your approach aligns with achieving those goals. Your unique goals, age, and length of time you have in the workforce will affect what investment options are best and the diversity of your portfolio. For example, if you are still many years from retirement, a more aggressive approach may be appropriate, while being closer to retirement may reduce the amount of risk you are willing to take. Reviewing your investment portfolio can ensure your approach is still on par with your potentially changing goals.
Revisit your Retirement Plan: 401(k) plans can be a wonderful tool to prepare for retirement. When is the last time you adjusted your contribution? With auto-withdrawals, many of us forget to make regular adjustments. Consider if you can increase the amount you contribute each pay period to boost your savings. Based on recent tax reform, and the inability to predict future tax changes, it is a good idea to have retirement savings in both tax-deferred accounts and non-tax deferred accounts to provide greater retirement flexibility.
Analyze Your Spending: Take time quarterly to assess your spending habits. If you don’t have a budget in place, create one to track how you spend money monthly. This will allow you to determine if you are over-spending on discretionary items and preventing yourself from saving more. Technology provides many tools to track spending and help keep you on track with your budget.
Tackling these five money moves could help you save more money and improve your financial well-being. They can also give you some peace of mind so you can enjoy your summer.
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