January 2013


Here is January’s review of blog posts. We hope you find something you enjoy!

The Simple DollarAdding Flex to a Budget – Even the best planned budget can be hit with unexpected expenses from time to time. Don’t let those expenses derail your whole budget.

U.S. News MoneyWhy Pension Plans May Not be a Slam Dunk – Pensions can be very useful for those who are fortunate enough receive one. However, when you are planning your retirement, there are dangers to counting on that pension as a source of income.

U.S. News Money 7 Unexpected Retirement Expenses – Once you reach retirement, your income may need to be spread thinner than you thought.

U.S. News Money 7 New Social Security Rules for 2013 – It’s a good idea to be aware of these changes.

Please let us know if you have a favorite financial blog that you think we should be reading.

 

  • Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant for specific financial advice. The ideas/opinions stated are not suited for everyone, and readers should use their own judgment in applying them in their financial lives.
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As 2013 gets underway, you may be questioning how you’re going to cut back on expenses. Reviewing your budget and looking for ways to save money is a great way to start off the new year. Not only does it force you to take a good look at how you have been spending money, but it can help you to make some decisions on what’s important for the coming year.

What if you have your budget in place and still feel like your expenses are too high, but can’t see where the problem is? This is very common, especially for younger people who often times have lower income and less wiggle room in their budget.

Last week, Jeff Rose over at Good Financial Cents had a great post, “70 Super Easy and Practical Ways to Save Money.” Nothing on this list is too dramatic, but if implemented correctly, everything with help you to save money. Not a lot of money in many cases, maybe only a few dollars here and there, but some of these ideas can actually help you cut a pretty big chunk out of your expenses

Obviously this list is not universal (not everyone can bike to work), but even if you only implement a handful of the ideas, you could potentially save yourself some money. But don’t give up! Many of these ideas need long term commitments, especially those that only save you a small amount every month. If you make the decision to implement, commit to it for 2013, and this time next year when you are reviewing your budget, hopefully you’ll see the difference.

 

  • Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant for specific financial advice. The ideas/opinions stated are not suited for everyone, and readers should use their own judgment in applying them in their financial lives.

 

Happy New Year! Now that it’s 2013, we’d thought we’d do a quick review of a post we first did in January 2012 (updated for 2013). We think everyone should take some time to review your finances at the beginning of every year.

Throughout the year, it’s easy to get distracted from your finances. Other things in life take up your time and energy, often leaving your finances in the background. As 2013 gets underway, consider setting some time aside to make sure your finances are in order. Working on the following now can help you avoid problems throughout the year when time gets away from you.

  • Review your budget – Take the time to review your budget, checking for any obvious changes that may need to be made. Research lower cost alternatives to expenses that seem to have crept up over time. Reallocate dollars that went unspent to expenses that had a shortfall. And if you don’t have a budget yet, create one!
  • Review and update your financial goals – Review the progress you made in the past year on your financial goals and add any new goals you may have. Take time to consider what your next step might be in advancing those goals. If your goals are no longer relevant in your life, think about what you want to do with any funds you may have collected for that goal.
  • Review your credit report – Help ensure that your identity is safe and that your credit report reflects accurate information. (www.annualcreditreport.com)
  • Prepare for tax filing – Even if you know you will be filing an extension, start collecting all the relevant tax information and documents as they start coming in. Ensure everything is ready and in order before you sit down to do your taxes or send the information to your tax preparer to avoid delays and mistakes. Also, if you find that you are getting a large refund or owe a large amount, take the time to review and adjust your withholding to put more money in your pocket throughout the year or ease the pain of a large tax bill next year.
  • Set up automatic bill pay – If you have not done so already, and it’s a service your bank offers, you should look into automatic bill pay. This will give you some relief during the year by paying your bills for you, so you won’t have to worry about setting aside time monthly to do so.

Obviously, doing the above will not make working on your finances during the year optional. You will still need to spend time on your finances, even if it’s just to make sure you’re avoiding mistakes and problems. But, the above steps will help set up your 2013 finances right.

 

  • Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant for specific financial advice. The ideas/opinions stated are not suited for everyone, and readers should use their own judgment in applying them in their financial lives.