Time to get fit
Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a great holiday season and enjoyed some quality time with their family and friends. We sure did but it’s time to get back to business.
Many of you likely made resolutions for the new year. The most popular seem to always be focused on diet and physical fitness. But what about fiscal fitness? Did you set any financial goals?
Here are some thoughts on goals for 2011:
- Create a budget
Take the time to understand where your monies are going each month. You’ll probably be surprised by how much is spent on things that you just don’t need or use. For instance, we haven’t used our Netflix account in over two months. Perhaps it’s time for us to cancel this.
- Talk with a financial planner
In this economy it can be tough to make ends meet, much the less to save. It’s imperative however that you find a way to do so. Bad economy or not, the future will come and you will need to be prepared. Talk to a financial planner about saving for a rainy day, saving for retirement, saving for your kids' college tuition and ensuring that you have enough life insurance to cover your spouse and/or kids in case, God forbid, something happens to you. Be sure that your financial planner talks with your accountant to ensure that the financial moves you make are the right choice for your tax situation.
- Review your tax withholdings and benefits
Are you getting a large tax refund this year? If so, you withheld too much money. By doing that you’re merely giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan. Withhold less and save that money in something that will earn interest. Have your money work for you.
What about your benefits? Do you have the right medical plan? Should you add a dental or vision plan? Perhaps saving in the short-term is costing you more in the long run in out-of-pocket expenses.
Does your company have a 401k plan that offers some kind of matching? Are you fully utilizing this benefit? If not, why? You’re just costing yourself money if you’re not.
Special note: the new tax law will require less monies be taken out for social security so you should have approximately 2% more in your check so there’s never been a better time to save.
- Get ready for tax season
Take some time to get organized and prepared for tax time. The more you can do now, the less you will have to do later. Gather your receipts for charitable contributions, business expenses, and medical bills (if material). Talk to your accountant now and see what else can be done in advance to make getting your taxes done less painful.
Give us a call to talk about how we can help put together a fiscal fitness plan that’s right for you.