Wednesday, December 4, 2013, AM | 1 Comment
New year is just around the corner. Are you gonna make any resolution for the new year? Is it going to be about your personal finances? Well! Any kind of resolution does not mean anything if you don’t follow it through. There are some habits – especially the way you were raised – that you don’t need resolution for.
For example, I am a spender but not in a big way. I use my credit cards more wisely than many folks. I pay my bills in full and on time. And I use my credit card for almost everything.
In any case, here are seven brilliant ways you can save money in any year in the foreseeable future.
The old adage “A penny saved is a penny earned” always holds true. I don’t think you need someone else tell you how to save money. But to get you organized, there are some websites that can help you do just that.
You can do research on your own. I found the following websites that will help you get organized. Just follow instructions on each site to sign up and work your financial chores. Take your time and understand the basics of each site.
Although all of the sites are secure, some people are still not comfortable linking bank accounts directly to a budgeting site. So use them at your own discretion. They are all pretty much secure.
The online money-management tools let you easily track all your accounts: checking, savings, credit, loan and investment. Signing up is fast and free; to get started, you need only provide an e-mail address and zip code, then select a password.
By the way, I use TD Bank where I have checking and savings accounts. I pay all my bills online. So far, it is free because the account does not collect interest. I use my checking account only to pay my bills. By the end of the month, I have nothing much left in the account except the minimum $250 that I have to maintain.
Set up Flexible Health Account with your employer
Check with your employer. If it offers this benefit, you can stash pretax dollars in the account and use the money to pay for out-of-pocket bills, including physician co-payments, prescription drugs, eyeglasses and braces for the kids’ teeth.
A flex account can save you hundreds of dollars in federal, Social Security and, in most states, state income taxes. In addition, you can tap the entire amount at any time, even if you have contributed for only a couple of months.
Under the use-it-or-lose-it rule, you could forfeit any money left in the account at the end of the year. But many companies now offer a grace period until March 15 of the following year.
Cut the cost of your Credit Card
You can do this once you understand how you will use your credit card. Once you know the purpose for your card why you got that in the first place, then you can choose a card that will save you money in the long run. Also, funnel your credit card rewards into retirement savings.
Increase your 401(k) contributions
With most stocks on the upswing, now is a great time to build – or rebuild – your retirement account.
If you cannot take advantage of contributing the maximum dollars allowed, you should kick in at least enough to capture any employer match.
Open an Online account
Most banks allow this feature. I use my own neighborhood bank – TD Bank for my online banking.
To avoid the temptation to spend all the money, set up an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account or arrange to have part of your paycheck deposited directly into your new rainy-day fund.
Raise your car insurance deductibles
Increasing the deductible on your car insurance from $250 to $1,000 can save up to 15% on your premiums. Raise it at least to $500.
Last but not least, File a new Form W-4
If you got a tax refund for last year, adjusting your withholding will fatten your paycheck for the following year.
If you are afraid you would spend the extra money, then don’t do it. If you leave the money with the Government, it would get the interest for that extra money, but I think it’s better you get the extra refund after you filed your taxes.