8 Easy Money Moves to Make in the New Year

January 30, 2018

8 Easy Money Moves to Make in the New Year

With the new year being a time for fresh starts and new beginnings, you’ve likely made some goals related to your finances. If you haven’t, I encourage you to establish some goals today.

Depending on the current state of your finances and what your overall goals are, there are a number of money moves that you might be planning to make this year to improve your finances.

To get the biggest return on your effort and to have the maximum impact on your finances, prioritize the tasks that will affect you on a recurring basis for months and years to come.

Here are eight money moves that do just that. These doable tasks take a relatively small amount of time to complete but will have a lasting impact on your finances.

1. Cancel Unused Subscriptions and Memberships

It’s quite possible you have one or two subscriptions or memberships (or maybe even more!) that you don’t use. Perhaps you’ve been planning to cancel them but haven’t gotten around to it. Pick up the phone or hop online and do it today! This will free up money in your monthly budget for savings or necessary expenses.

2. Review Your Insurance Coverages

If it’s been awhile since you’ve reviewed your insurance coverages, this is an excellent time to do it. Perhaps your needs have changed. For example, if your car is older and the value is low, you may want to consider dropping the comprehensive or collision coverage from your car insurance. Take a look at all your insurance policies to see if you need to make any adjustments.

3. Review Your Utilities

Set aside some time to “audit” your utilities and other monthly bills to see if you can reduce or eliminate anything. This simple step can free up significant room in your budget.

4. Put Your Bills on Automatic Payments

If you repeatedly incur late fees on your bills, consider putting them on automatic bill pay. This will eliminate the possibility of forgetting a due date again. Just remember to plan for the withdrawals.

5. Automate Your Savings

Have you been meaning to get around to saving? Let this year be the year you do — by automating it. Perhaps you need to establish an emergency fund or start saving towards a large purchase. Help yourself get there by setting up automatic withdrawals.

You can arrange recurring transfers between your checking and savings accounts, but if having the money hit your checking account is too tempting, adjust your direct deposit at work, so the money goes directly to your savings accounts.

6. Increase Your Retirement Contributions

Raise your retirement contributions by as much as you can. If you think you can’t increase your savings much, try raising it by just 1 percent. You are not likely to notice this change in your budget, but it will make a difference long-term.

7. Adjust Your Tax Withholding

If you owe federal or state taxes every year or get a sizeable refund, it would be a good idea to review and adjust your withholding. The IRS tax withholding calculator will guide you through steps and will make suggestions on how to change your withholding. You will need your most recent pay stubs as well as your last tax return. (The calculator is temporarily unavailable while revisions are made to reflect the new tax law and will be available soon.)

8. Set Up an Organizational System

Organization is an often overlooked contributor to the overall state of your finances. Take some time to get yourself organized for the year. The filing system used here can work whether you prefer a paper or electronic system.

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Completing these money moves now will save you money and time, not only this year but many years down the road. You’ll get a high return on your investment of time because once you have these moves in place, you won’t have to worry about them again…until maybe next year!

Which of these money moves do you plan to make?


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