Many people don’t have a comprehensive understanding of their budgets, and this is a dangerous lack of knowledge. Now is the perfect time to look at expenses, retirement plans, and tax withholding to kickstart a healthy New Year.
Queens, NY (PRWEB) January 01, 2013
Finances are a hot topic as Americans reach the end of 2012. The fiscal cliff has yet to be rectified, leaving the prospect of tax increases and drastic budget cuts on the table. Unemployment rates are falling but not fast enough, and economies overseas continue to falter. So with the New Year approaching, the Law Offices of Bruce Feinstein, Esq. released suggestions for 2013 financial resolutions to help kickstart a healthy, prosperous New Year. But keep in mind that this is solely advice; if you are facing financial hardship and need immediate assistance,contact a bankruptcy attorney today.
Resolution #1: Set up automatic deposits into a savings account, IRA account, or mutual fund. Authorize a fund to automatically take a certain amount of money out of a checking account each month. This way, there is no need to stress about making contributions; even $100 a month is enough to start saving for retirement.
Resolution #2: Create an emergency fund. This should include a full six months worth of living expenses. If any unexpected bills or events occur, such as a hospital visit or job loss, this fund acts as a financial cushion that provides extra time and comfort while getting back on track.
Resolution #3: Revise (or create) a budget. Many people don’t have a comprehensive understanding of their expenses, and this is a dangerous lack of knowledge. Make a budget that takes into account total income and expenses each month. Be sure to include costs such as mortgage payments, travel expenses, utilities, and cell phone plans. Keep this budget up to date to see when changes need to be made to spending habits.
Resolution #4: Check income tax withholding for the next year. 2013 will most likely differ from 2012 when it comes to things like income, dependents, or tax credits. It takes very little time to update this information, and it helps to avoid an unexpected bill to the IRS when it comes time to file taxes.
Resolution #5: Take advantage of a credit card, wisely. It sounds strange to make a goal to use a credit card, but when it is used properly it offers many rewards like points, cash back programs, and higher credit scores. Call the bank to see if there are any additional reward programs or if a credit raise is available. Use the card to pay for regular expenses, and pay it off before the balance is due to avoid paying interest.
Resolution #6: Update your 401k plan. Making monthly contributions to a 401k set up by an employer or an individual is a smart decision, and one that pays off over time. It can also help to lower income tax liability. Many Americans automatically enroll in their job’s 401k program, but don’t look back to see if they are contributing enough. This is another quick adjustment to make that reaps great rewards.
And finally: if you are already in debt, act now and don’t wait. Starting 2013 in debt is not shameful, but avoiding it is a poor decision to make. Contact a bankruptcy attorney to find out if filing for bankruptcy is the best option. There may be alternatives available, and if bankruptcy is the right choice it can help get you back on track. The Law Offices of Bruce Feinstein have been helping clients in Queens for over a decade, and their expertise has helped thousands resolve their debt issues through Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings.