5 Tips To Get Your Finances In Order This Year
February is the perfect time to review your finances and make a plan for the year. You’ve gathered all important financial documents for tax preparation and are getting back to normal after the holiday madness. Now it’s time to set a plan to improve your financial landscape for the year. These 5 tips will help you get your finances in order this year.
1. Understand your current financial situation
Before you can plan for the future it’s important to know where your finances are right now. Gather the latest statements from your bank accounts (checking & savings), credit card statements, and retirement savings. Pull together a list of all of your expenses, taking into account fixed and variable expenses. Finally, put together a list of your income. If you’re income is variable, do your best to project what your average income will be.
2. Set a realistic budget and stick to it!
Now that you have your financial landscape pulled together, it’s time to set a budget. There are many ways to do this, and it’s important to find the one that works best for you. The most important things to remember: pay the bills, pay your future self (savings!), and then allow for ‘fun’ spending.
3. If you have access to an FSA, take advantage.
An FSA (flexible spending arrangement) is an account set up by employers to allow employees to contribute to health related expenses. The accounts are designed to help you pay for qualified medical expenses that are not covered by your health insurance, like medical, dental, prescription, and vision expenses.
You can contribute up to $2,650 to your FSA account during the year. The biggest benefit of an FSA is that it allows you to contribute pre-tax income to the account.
4. Meet with your accountant to forecast your taxes for 2019.
Working with your accountant preemptively can ensure you’re taking the right amount of taxes out before it’s too late. Be sure to communicate your goals to your accountant, so they can provide advice specific to your needs.
5. Work on paying down any debt you have
Are you one of the 44 million Americans with student loan debt? Do you have auto loans, a mortgage or credit card debt? It’s important to make these payments a priority. Imagine what your bank account would look like without those payments each month. The only way to do that is to prioritize paying down your debt. Sacrificing your morning drive-thru coffee for one brought from home can save you almost $1200 a year. That’s $1200 that could be put toward paying down your debt.
Not sure if you’re ready to tackle this on your own? The Stampone & Associates team can help you create a plan that works for you. Contact Karen Stampone today to schedule a free consultation.