Monday, January 14, 2013

Easy ways to get your financial house in order for 2013

Posted By on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 1:32 PM

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Happy New Year! If you are like me, you want to start off the year with a bang — you promise to eat healthier, work out more, and read more meaningful books. But what about getting your financial house in order?

Here are some easy things that you can do to improve your financial situation!

Look over your bills!

Is your cell phone plan what you really need? Maybe you can do with less minutes or data. Some employers have discount programs through designated providers. Ask your HR department if you have this perk — you could save 20% on your cell plan in some cases.

The dreaded cable bill. Are you watching all of those movie channels? Do you need those extra channel packages? Assess what you watch and if you need it. I know folks who are ditching cable completely and moving to Internet streaming using a ROKU box. All you need is internet. No cable at all!

Brown bag your lunch. I know. Eating out is easy and convenient. But if you go out for lunch twice a week, it can easily end up costing you $75 to $100 extra a month.

Same thing for coffee. I bought a Keurig a few years ago and make my own "foo foo”"coffee. A lot less expensive. And I control the calories.

Up your retirement savings!

Can you add more to your 401k? 401k additions are pre-tax. That means you have less taxable income when you increase your 401k contribution AND you get to have additional savings toward retirement.

Open a Roth or Traditional IRA. Ask a financial advisor which option is best for your situation. You can even have monthly contributions sent from your checking account straight into your IRA. If you don’t see it leave the account, you don’t miss the money.

Have someone look at your portfolio. You already have a chunk of money socked away? Great! Now ask yourself: is it allocated properly? Talk to a pro to make sure you have it invested the right way.

Take care of your stuff!

I know, sounds silly, right? But clean out a closet or a kitchen cupboard. You might find things that you forgot you owned. Maybe you can use it. Maybe you can sell it on Craigslist. Hey — a buck’s a buck. Dust doesn’t make you any money.

Spring clean the house and make repairs. Not only do your fine items last longer if they are clean and taken care of, but how many times are you going to say to yourself, "I should really fix that loose doorknob."

Take care of your car maintenance! Get an oil change. Rotate the tires. Wash and wax the car. Let’s face it. We don’t usually run around town looking like a dirty mess, and our car shouldn’t be that way either. Looking for some great car cleaning products? I highly recommend Meguiar’s. The stuff is the bomb. (OK, am I the only one who says that anymore?)

It doesn’t take much effort to save a few bucks!

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial, the largest independent broker/dealer* in the United States.

The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Financial Partners, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

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