Getting a jump start with your financial goals you can accomplish 2015. Right now is the perfect time to sit back and reflect over the last year and look at any weak spots you may have had financially in 2014 then make plans for any needed changes. As I’ve said before as well you do not need to wait until 2015 to make these changes or enact any of this advice, in fact getting a head start now can get you a head start on making new habits and make it easier for you to transition into a new way of life and a new mind set.
If you are married and both of you have spending problems you can sit down with your husband, wife, partner or significant other and have a serious talk about money. What I always advise couples with money problems to do is to become more involved with each other when it comes to finances, for example going to your partner to discuss any frivolous expenditure before the purchase is made. What this does is takes impulse spending out of the picture by making you accountable to your partner for any non needed expenditures. You can always work into a budget a set amount of money to spend on whatever you want and avoid the need to discuss it with your partner unless you surpass the agreed upon allowance of “fun money”. You should also discuss any financial plans and goals with your partner fully and get them involved with every aspect of the financial planing.
One area that often gets over looked by people is health insurance. This is the time of the year that you can change health plans. You should take the time to see if there are any plans with lower copay or premiums. Perhaps another plan has lower out of pocket expenses. Even if you are very healthy today and do not for-see needing to even use health insurance things happen and it is far better to spend a little time exploring your options than to be caught between a rock and hard place if the unexpected happens and you need to fall back on your health insurance.
You should also be thinking of your tax return and tax filing this month. Every year millions of americans miss important tax deductions and exemptions. Now is the perfect time to begin itemizing to make the most out of any tax write offs you may qualify for. Consider reading up on tax exemptions. For example many people do not know that job hunting costs can qualify as a tax write off for 2014, including expenses such as Transportation expenses such as 56 cents a mile for driving your own car, also parking and tolls can be written off which may seem small but it adds up. You can also qualify for a child care credit which reduces your tax burden dollar for dollar, between 20% and 35% of what you pay for child care while you work, which is better than a tax write off.
Another thing you should work on is tackling any credit card debt you may have. Not only will you have less debt but your credit score will improve due to your credit utilization being lower. When you free up credit card debt you have more available credit in the case of an emergency such as losing your job.
Kyle is a financial writer who contributes to the QuickCashPersonalLoans to help consumers navigate the challenging landscape with personal finances and loans.