Photos provided by Carolyn Forsyth

The New Year brings opportunities to review your financial decisions and consider making changes. Take some time to reset  yourself and your financial decisions.

January, 2018


It's 2018...

It’s a new year and there are things to do that will improve your financial standing.

Clean out the fridge…

We hate to do it but really that jar of pickles from last summer is not going to get better with age. It’s taking up space and not contributing to your health or well-being.  In financial terms identify any accounts that are unnecessary, close them and consolidate the funds into active accounts. That makes access to funds easier and eliminates any unnecessary charges.

The same goes for stocks or bonds that you’ve been holding that are not performing as expected. Sell them (even at a loss) and repurpose the funds into stocks or pay down debt (student loans, credit cards, auto loans, mortgage, etc.).

Assess your tax situation…

There are a number of changes to the tax law that may require adjustments for your 2018 taxes. The tax deductions for home mortgages is now limited to $10,000. If you own a home or condo make sure you understand the new limit and have a fairly reasonable knowledge of how much interest you will be deducting in 2018. 

Your withholding may need to change. The IRS has provided new schedules. If you see a change in your income (hopefully for the better) take a look at your withholding and see if an adjustment is in order.

There are a number of tax calculators available that will allow you to see what your taxes will be like when you start doing them in 2019.  A simple approach would be to complete your 2017 taxes and then do those taxes on a calculator with the new rules. There are items that might need adjustment during 2018. Remember, there is no law requiring you to pay more taxes than you actually owe. Deductions and tax credits are there for untold reasons. If they apply to your tax situation you are able to take them.

Clean out your Inbox…

Unsubscribe from every mail list not used on a regular basis. You might miss out on that once in a lifetime special coupon but think of all the time you spend deleting being available for other things, like living.

Get rid of old emails that are no longer needed. Delete them.

This doesn’t necessarily improve your financial life but it really does help you to reduce activity that is not productive.

Start searching for new financial opportunities…

The world changes and it’s a natural phenomenon. Political, social, economic and personal events all create opportunities for ending investments in one company or mutual fund and moving into different companies or mutual funds. There are as many people saying buy Company A stock as there are saying sell Company A. That’s the nature of markets. The outcome of those decisions is yet to be determined.

Make sure all your money is working…

Health Savings Accounts have had some enhancements. Some plans will now allow you to invest a portion of your savings. Make sure if you have such opportunities that you take advantage of them.

The same goes for your 401(k) or any IRA accounts. Look at how you are invested and do those investments still make sense to you.  If not, consider changes.