The past few years have upended many perceptions of financial stability. A layoff or career change, inflation never before seen by younger generations and the lingering uncertainty of the pandemic might have thrown off financial planning for many.
Now is a great time to review strategies for smart spending and saving to better weather whatever the future has in store.
Financial planning professionals suggest that individuals start by creating a budget. Online trackers such as Mint.com can help understand spending.
Here are tips for saving and spending in 2023:
Use credit responsibly: Pay off credit cards each month, if possible, to avoid accumulating debt and build good credit.
Set up automatic savings: You can do this through your bank and via an employer's payroll. Use the new year to take a fresh look at the savings options through the employer, including a Health Savings Account (HSA), which can be carried over from one year to the next.
Invest windfalls: Invest any unexpected cash, such as bonuses or tax refunds, and make the money work harder.
Review your retirement plans: The new year may bring changes such as buying a home, updating a will or navigating a higher tax bracket. A professional can provide a new year review to keep retirement plans on track no matter where someone is in their working life.
Plan your tax payments: Consider paying estimated taxes throughout the year to avoid a large tax bill in April. Estimated tax payments can be especially helpful for contract workers or freelancers who don't have taxes taken out of their pay automatically.
Shop smarter: Combat inflation by switching to store brands for some items. Check whether generic medications will work for you and compare prices for different pharmacies.
Nobody can predict the future, but prudent planning can help prepare for whatever the future holds.
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