You can’t take a step towards financial well-being until you know where your problem areas are. Don’t look at your previous year’s income and debt as a burden, look at it as an opportunity to see where you spent too much and where you saved well.
Queens, NY (PRWEB) January 02, 2017
The year is coming to a close, and while politics and global issues are top of mind, fiscal issues at home should be a key issue for families going into 2017. In light of this, Bruce Feinstein, Esq., recently released his annual money matters for a financially healthy New Year. Mr. Feinstein has been releasing year-end financial round-ups over the last five years; his 2016 release detailed 10 top money matters. This year’s release covers five key financial resolutions for a quick, easy financial guide to take into the New Year.
Many individuals are hesitant to look back over their annual spending for fear of seeing where they overspent and didn’t save. But Mr. Feinstein recommends reviewing the year’s financial statements to find spending patterns and get a starting point for an annual budget. He explains, “You can’t take a step towards financial well-being until you know where your problem areas are. We all have them. Don’t look at your previous year’s income and debt as a burden, look at it as an opportunity to see where you spent too much and where you saved well.”
A good way to start this process is to review the previous year’s bank statements. Many people can also contact their bank to request a simplified expense report. This can help track spending and be the starting point for creating an easy-to-manage balance sheet for the coming year.
Plan For Tomorrow
Once individuals and families have a solid grasp of their spending habits, they can then look at preparing for their financial future. This can include making a will, naming financial beneficiaries or a power of attorney, and creating end-of-life plans. “Many people see planning for end-of-life care as depressing,” says Mr. Feinstein. “But what’s truly depressing is being unprepared for an unplanned health event or the rapid decline of an aging family member. Properly planning your estate will prevent financial headaches down the fine and possible financial repercussions for your loved ones.”
Prevent Student Loan Debt
Student loan debt is a hot topic for most families in the U.S., and Mr. Feinstein has tackled this issue frequently, including ways to discharge student loan debt during bankruptcy. But there are still ways to save for education in order to lower children’s dependence on student loans. Start investing early in a child’s college education; starting a 529 account is one option. A 529 account allows an individual to make recurring tax-free deposits and, depending on which state that persons resides, receive an additional tax deduction. While there are several policy theories about ways to unburden the massive student loan debt in the U.S., families can take their own steps toward helping their children’s financial future.
Less is More
New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep, but taking a general “less is more” approach to spending can be a simple approach to saving and lowering debt. This may mean less credit card spending, getting rid of a high interest credit card balance, or cutting unnecessary spending like an unused gym membership. “Keep in mind what you want to save for, because simply spending less feels unfulfilling,” explains Mr. Feinstein. “If you know you want to save for a new home, a child, or a car, then you have a positive outlook on saving.”
Strength in Numbers
Money matters should not be a solitary effort. Many spouses and families don’t share money matters, whether it’s an extra credit card or unpaid debt. Making financial planning a family effort has multiple benefits. It relieves the burden on the individual to deal with a financial issue alone. It also encourages better communication between spouses and partners. And in families with children, teaching basic financial concepts helps increase their awareness and give them a valuable life skill. “Teaching children about saving money and even the most basic financial concepts is one of the best things parents can do,” says Mr. Feinstein. “It also helps parents really focus their family’s needs. Creating transparency helps everyone involved.”
The Law Offices of Bruce Feinstein has nearly two decades of experience in bankruptcy law, helping clients and families resolve their issues and move forward with their lives. Visit bfeinsteinesq.com for more information or call (718) 514-9770 to reach the New York office.