Money Day

Those of you affected by the U.S. tax day who have not done your taxes, do them today. You don't want the horrible frenzy next Saturday and the driving in the line of cars to post your return. Just get it out of the way.

Everybody else, today's a good day to take a look at where your money is going. Are you going deeper into debt or paying it off? How's your tax withholding? If you had to pay out a huge amount at tax time and your income hasn't changed much, then maybe you should increase the withholding to spare yourself the scramble for the money. Got a huge return? How about lowering that withholding and setting up an automatic transfer of that cash difference in each check into a retirement account – you won't feel the difference throughout the year and your money will be earning you interest.

Some tips:
– Balance your checkbook & credit card statements every month. Not only will it keep you aware of any trends in the flow of your money, it will also mean that you can catch bank errors or identity theft while there's time to do something about it.

– Pay off your higher interest debt first. Make minimal payments on the rest and put as much as you can towards those big bad boys.

– My financial security rule of thumb: if you are carrying debt with over 6% interest, you should cut optional expenses to the point where you can make significant payments on it every month. Try for 10% of the current amount remaining this month if you can and then keep paying that amount. That will rid you of it within a year.

– Even when you're paying off debt, set up an automatic transfer of $25 into savings every payday. If your company has retirement contribution matching, take advantage of it.

Author: dinahsanders

Author. Discardian. Defender of life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. she/her

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