End-of-the-year smart financial tips - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

End-of-the-year smart financial tips

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

The end of the year is here. How has 2014 left your bank account?

In the midst of holiday spending, experts say it's time to think about saving, too.

So, here's the gift that keeps on giving: a good financial plan.

Financial Planner Derieck Hodges said it's time to start thinking about budgeting as a good thing, even though it's may not be fun to do, the pay-off is worth it.

He said when you spend money within your means, you're empowered, less stressed, and under control.

Hodges suggests, don't wait till the start of the New Year to get a handle on your accounts.

"Now is a great time to sit down and think about 2015 and come up with a game plan for your spending. Part of that spending I think ought to be making sure you have the right kind of insurance. If you have a health savings account, are you using it? That's one of the things that will really help absorb a lot of those out-of-pocket medical expenses,” Hodges said.

Hodges also suggests a few other smart financial practices this time of year:

  • Consider making your charitable gifts now - that will positively impact your tax situation.
  • Make sure your saving well for your retirement and double check that your withholding is in a good place.
  • Make your budget - in the midst of spending season, Hodges says, there's no time like now.
  • Be mindful of your spending - use tools like text alerts every time you use your credit card.
  • Evaluate your spending from this year - what could you do differently next year to help you save better?

Hodges also encourages us all to resist impulse buying.

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