Dec 25

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Now That The Holiday Season Is Over

Christmas piggy bank

Here are a few tips from your friends at Forensic Accounting Services, Inc. —- Managing your finances after the holidays can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. No matter where you are in your life journey, learning to manage money and making it work for you and your future is an important skill. Here are some practical tips to help get you financially fit and help you be in shape for the next holiday season.

Stretch your dollars wisely

Set a realistic budget and look for ways to reduce spending. Pack a lunch and make a cup of coffee at home instead of stopping for a morning latte. A budget helps you know what you have to spend on necessities and enjoyment, and how much to save each time you get paid.

Make saving a priority

If you have trouble reducing spending or sticking to a budget, try setting a minimum savings goal. A realistic goal is easier to maintain and helps you accumulate savings a lot faster than you’d expect. Try saving just $5, $10, $20 each week. You do the math!

Start a holiday fund

Starting in January, save a little bit every month and use this earmarked money for gift purchases and other holiday expenses. If you save just $75 per month from January to November, by December you’ll have more than the $804 most Americans say they’ll spend on the holidays. Saving over time will help you avoid a large cash outflow at the end of next year and the temptation to carry holiday debt on a credit card or take out a holiday loan. Designating savings specifically for holiday use also means you’re likely to save more, and less likely to cheat and use non-holiday fund money for holiday expenses—studies have shown that earmarking money helps people exert more self-control over their spending.

Register for Automatic Transfer

Set up your bank account to move money from your paycheck into a savings account before you even know it’s gone. By setting up an automatic transfer, your cash gets saved and you aren’t tempted to spend it. Also try lowering your monthly expenses by 10% and move that cash into savings or investments. Look for savings by paying off your credit card immediately to avoid interest fees or shopping less and move that 10% from spending to long-term savings.

Start thinking about retirement … now!

Investing can be intimidating. Learn to maximize your 401K plan with your employer, open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or even put money in a Certificate of Deposit account to earn interest. Talking to your accountant can help ensure your budget and retirement goals stay aligned.

Happy Holidays from your friends at Forensic Accounting Services, Inc.


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