End of the Year Financial Organization
As we approach the end of 2017, it is a good time to take a look at your finances and make sure your current strategies are still working for you. Here are some places to look for ways to maximize your fiscal year.
Review Your Spending
If you do not currently monitor your monthly spending or have not reviewed it in detail for a while, now is a great time to take a look. There are multiple high-tech tools to help with the process, some of which can be used right from your smartphone. Look for tools with expense tracking, budgeting, and cash flow management. Once you have reviewed your spending, look for easy ways to increase your savings, such as making coffee at home or taking your lunch to work a few days per week. Small changes can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Prepare for Tax Day
It is never too early to make an appointment with your accountant or tax professional as their schedules will fill fast after the new year. Aim for an appointment in early February, right after your 1099s arrive. Having the assistance of a professional will help you create strategies to ensure you are maximizing your earnings while taking advantage of any deductions to reduce your taxable income.
Manage Your FSA or HSA
If you have a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) through your company, review your 2017 expenditures to see how much you have left in your account. If you have $500 or less, check with your employer, as you may be able to carry the balance over into March 2018 without penalty. If you have more than $500, order that new pair of prescription sunglasses you’ve been thinking about, or visit FSAStore.com, a website that sells more than 600 FSA-approved items, including first-aid kits, cold and allergy medications, vitamins and supplements, and sunscreen.
If you have a high-deductible health plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA), review your balance and refill your prescriptions or other qualified purchases before December 31st. If you have not yet contributed the maximum to your account in 2017, talk to your accountant or tax professional about making additional contributions before April 15, 2018. Unlike an FSA, the money in your HSA rolls over from year to year, and you can invest the money in your account. If you’re an individual, you can contribute $3,350 to your HSA, with an additional $1,000 if you’re 55 or older. If you have an HSA for your family, the limit is $6,650.
Max Out Your 401(k) and IRA
If, after you have reviewed your budget and spending, you find that you have some additional funds to work with, talk to your accountant or tax professional about maxing out your 401(k) and IRA. You can also look at opening a Roth IRA, which allows you to withdraw the money tax-free during retirement. If your employer offers matching contributions, review your most recent statement and make any necessary adjustments.
Give to Charity
One of the most satisfying ways to reduce your taxes is with a contribution to a charitable organization. You can make the contribution with cash or if you have a car, motorcycle, or boat that you no longer need, you can donate it to a non-profit and deduct the fair market value from your taxes. Make sure to get proper documentation of your contribution and add it to your files for your accountant or tax professional to review.
Call Cambria® Mortgage™
To get started, call Cambria Mortgage at 952-942-0110 or visit CambriaMortgage.com. Our team of experts will provide personal, hometown service with sound advice and impeccable attention to detail at every step of the process.