Money Tip 4/22/19
When making large, discretionary purchases like a new TV, appliance or a car, use the 30-day-rule. This means waiting 30 days to make the purchase unless it is an absolute necessity. This helps eliminate spontaneous purchase decisions. During the 30 days, you should evaluate the pros and cons of making the purchase. This takes an emotional decision and turns it into a rational one. You might even find a lower price or a better use of your money.
Money Tip 4/15/19
At tax time, you’re probably focused on how much you owe or how much you are getting back. However, it’s a good time to see how the new 2018 tax law affected you. To find out if your tax rate went up or down, compare your tax rate and tax bracket to your previous two tax returns. If your tax rate changed significantly, you may want to change your tax withholdings on your paycheck or other sources of income and make sure you are withholding an appropriate amount.
Money Tip 4/8/19
Don’t be a victim of identity theft and other fraud schemes. In order to defend yourself, consider setting alerts on your accounts. Most banks and credit card companies will alert you instantly about purchases above a certain dollar amount. It’s normally very easy to login to your account and set up these alerts. You should also review your accounts periodically for any unauthorized purchases.
Money Tip 4/1/19
Make sure you have an emergency fund. If you are still working, a good rule of thumb is 6 months of income in the emergency fund. If you are retired or retiring soon, think about keeping 5% to 10% of your investment net worth in your emergency fund. If you take money out for an emergency, remember to replenish it soon.
Money Tip 3/25/19
If you are participating in your employer’s retirement plan, find out if it has a Roth option available. Consider contributing into the Roth rather than pre-tax or at least a combination of Roth and pre-tax. There are rules to understand when it comes to Roth so you should consult a financial professional to make sure this is right for you.
Money Tip 3/18/19
Savings should be part of your budget. Just like a necessary expense such as spending on groceries and housing, savings should be a necessity. Similar to a 401(k) contribution that comes directly out of your paycheck, use a similar mechanism to save monthly. We recommend using automatic drafts for monthly savings and investing. You should aim for a total of at least 10% of your income going to some sort of long-term savings.
Money Tip 3/11/19
No matter what age you are, you should have a very solid understanding of how much you spend every month. There are online tools available to you but if you do not want to use online tools, try writing down everything you spend for 2 or 3 months. Then write your average monthly spending down where can see it on a regular basis. Remember, what you can measure you can manage. Measure your spending so that you can manage to keep it at or below your goal.
Money Tip 3/4/19
Many Americans who have not saved enough for retirement often say that they will simply work longer and retire later. However, over a third of Americans who have retired report that they retired earlier than they had planned. They retired earlier as a result of health reasons, company layoffs, grandchildren or caring for an aging parent. This statistic emphasizes that saving for retirement is so important. You may end up retiring earlier than you expected.