As the end of 2018 quickly approaches, it’s a good time to take note of your personal finances. And just like you would set your New Year’s resolutions to hit the gym more or spend more time with family, perhaps it’s time to consider a resolution to improve your financial health. Here are a few financial health tips to get you started:
1. Financial Fitness Review
The first step should be to sit down and review your financial health at the end of the year and project how it will be next year. Are you expecting to make more or less income next year? Were there any wasteful expenses this year? Plotting out a budget will keep you focused as the new year begins.
2. Improve Your Credit Score
If you are planning to make any big purchases next year such as a car, home or business loan, your credit score should be in good shape. Many factors will contribute to your credit rating, including new accounts, balances on revolving credit, existing loans, recent credit inquiries and more. Learn what you need to know and take positive steps toward increasing your credit score.
3. Slow Down on Spending
Look for ways to cut out unnecessary purchases such as food, entertainment, clothing, etc. and set a reduced budget that you can live by. This will keep more money in your pocket that you can put toward savings or more important purchases down the line.
4. Increase Your Retirement Savings
One great step you can take is to increase the amount of money you put into your retirement savings each month. Bumping that number up by as little as 1 percent can make a huge difference over time. Consider a deferred annuity if you are already maxed out on your retirement contributions. There are many ways to save money, so speak with your financial advisor or tax professional.
5. Get a Head-Start on Your Tax Preparation
You can never start preparing your taxes too soon. This will keep you from encountering any “surprises” come tax season. You can also clean out your garage or closets to make charitable donations that are tax deductible. Just make sure to do it before the end of this year to claim on your next tax return.
For professional tax assistance and advice, count on the licensed CPA firm of Ferguson, Timar & Company. Our team excels at personal and small business tax preparation and we’ll help you improve your overall financial health. Contact us today!