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Tips to End 2013 Money Strong

Tips to End 2013 Money Strong

As you begin planning for the holiday season, financial matters may be the last thing on your mind. But, don’t lose sight of your financial goals! Here are a few tips to end the year money strong and help you carry that momentum into 2014:

Budget for the holidays and beyond: Decide on a budget before you shop – you will save money and stress. Getting started with Pilot™, the Credit Union’s money management software, is free and easy.

Use remaining flexible spending account money: Check to see how much you have left and make sure you spend it now. You have until 12/31 to spend down your balance and 3/31 to file your claims. Remember, use it or lose it – you can’t carry flexible spending dollars over into next year!

Make tax effective donations: If you need to reduce your taxable income, it is always better to give to your favorite charity then to send it to Uncle Sam.

Boost your retirement contributions: Putting money in tax-advantaged retirement accounts is a double win, reducing your taxable income now and providing for you in retirement. Think of it as paying yourself now – and later!

Give your credit report a check-up: Review your credit report at annualcreditreport.com and make sure everything is being reported correctly

Get organized: Make a checklist of the documents you will need come tax time. Getting organized now can put you in position to maximize your tax filing later.

Review your beneficiaries: Did you have a birth, divorce or death in your family in the last year? If so, it may be time to review who you may have named to your retirement accounts and insurance policies.

FREE! As you begin your holiday shopping, keep in mind that humans tend to be drawn to anything that is “FREE!” and can often make irrational spending decisions to get something for what they think is nothing (decisions which often end up costing them more in the end). Ask yourself, even if its “free,” do you really need it?

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