Wise money management is a skill. It’s a skill anybody can learn and even improve over time. It is always the right time to make wise financial decisions. And it is never too late to start making wiser choices for your financial health.
The following are 4 Financial Moves to Make Right Now.
- Take full advantage of employer matched retirement savings.
Many employers match an employee’s 401(k) or 403(b) contributions up to a certain percent of the employee’s salary. If you contribute less than your employer is willing to match, then you are passing up free money.
For example, if your employer matches up to 6% of your salary and you only contribute 3% of your salary to your 401(k), then your employer matches only 3%. Each year you are missing out on the opportunity to increase your contribution to your 401(k), at no expense to you, by 3% of your salary.
Employer matched retirement savings is part of your employee benefits. We urge you to take full advantage of it.
- Make savings automatic.
Even the most disciplined of us can fall short of our savings goals or spend beyond our budget. The best way to ensure that you save exactly the amount you intend to save is to make your savings automatic.
Set up a fixed amount to be transferred from your checking into your savings each month. Most banks offer this service for free. For people with fixed income, this should be a percentage of your paycheck. For people with varying income, this could be a fixed number to save, as determined in your budget to ensure you reach your financial goals.
- If you qualify, make use of a Health Savings Account.
Health savings accounts (HSA) can play an important role in helping you manage health care expenses of today and in the future. You can enroll in a tax-advantaged HSA through your employer or directly as an individual.
Essentially an HSA is a medical savings account option available to taxpayers who are enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans (HDHP). The money contributed to an HSA account is not taxed. HSAs are portable and controllable, and they roll over from one year to the next.
The money in an HSA can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses, including deductibles, copayments, and prescription costs. Since HSAs roll over from year to year, they can be used to pay for health care costs now and in retirement.
- Make sure you’re spending your money on what matters to you.
We often share this in our articles about money management and financial wellness. While it isn’t a financial move in the traditional sense, it is an important financial concept.
Certainly paying for life’s necessities and living expenses must be our number one priority. Having adequate emergency savings and a fully funded retirement should be important to all of us. For those of us in debt, getting out of debt should be a priority.
It is important to budget and plan for all of these things… but the things beyond necessities, the things that are important to you should be reflected in how you spend your money. If you are a big fan of travel, saving for that next exotic vacation should be in your budget. If your passion is running, then you should be budgeting for running shoes, the gear you need, and entry fees for races throughout the year.
Don’t squander your extra money on meaningless items or impulse buys at the expense of being able to afford the things and experiences that are truly important to you.
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The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel helps people get out of debt. We offer free consultations to people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.