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  • A Better Start

    Chris O'Shea

    Some money moves to make at the beginning of the new year 

    The new year is right around the corner, so do yourself a favor and take inventory of your finances and money habits. Don’t like what you see? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, try starting the new year off right. Here are some money moves that will make next year better than this year.

     

    1. Max it Out. If your company has a 401(k) plan, you need to contribute as much as possible. As US News reports, the benefits are plentiful. Traditional 401(k) plans offer tax deduction on contributions, Roth 401(k) plans allow you tax-free withdrawals in retirement, and many employers will match your contributions up to a certain amount.
    2. Open a 529. Opening a 529 plan has long been a solid strategy to save for your kids’ college education. The money accumulates tax-free and can be withdrawn without a fee as long as it’s for educational purposes. Now, under new tax code, 529 plans can also be also used to pay for kindergarten through 12th grade.
    3. Check your insurance. If you’ve had the same insurance for several years, make 2019 the year you shop around. There’s a good chance you’ll find better rates under a different company or policy. The worst that can happen is you don’t find a better deal, but now have peace of mind that you’re not wasting money.
    4. Call some companies. Just like you should shop around for insurance, you should make some calls to negotiate better rates on things like your phone, cable and more. The key is to actually call the companies. There are deals to be had, you just need to put in some effort.
    5. Consult your credit. You should already be checking your credit report at least three times per year, but if you don’t, now is the time to get started. Make this new year a time of regular credit checks.

     

     
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