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Mississippi Money: Financial Year End Review

At the end of the year we take time to reflect. Its time to look back at our financial year and see what has been working and what has not. Take a deep dive into your finances to see if your financial habits are really working for you. 

Did you negotiate a raise or move to a higher paying job? More money every month has the biggest impact on most people’s day-to-day financial life. With a raise, you won’t dip into emergency savings as much and can tackle high interest debt faster. You can also afford the help of professionals that will take a load of work and stress from you and give you back time. If you keep the same lifestyle expenses, a raise means much faster progress towards long-term saving and investing goals. I always recommend that people save at least half of any raise – its money you never had before, after all! 

Did you save consistently every month? Look back at statements to see where you were putting money towards savings goals or longterm investments. If you’ve spent the past year figuring out your budget and how much you can afford to save, try to come up with an amount you could save consistently next year. Set up payroll deductions into your employer sponsored retirement plan and an automatic draft into your emergency savings or travel fund. 

Did you have any financial emergencies? Check your emergency savings account. If your family has grown or you have moved, you may need more money on hand. Review the amount you have and make a plan to hit your new target. What were your largest, most unexpected expenses? Ask yourself if they were truly one-time expenses or if something similar would keep reoccurring. If this is a new lifestyle expense, make sure you budget for it. 

Did you pay any credit card interest or fees? Check your credit card statements. Did you pay fees from missing a payment? Set your bills to auto-pay or make a better reminder system so that you won’t get charged again. If you’re carrying a balance, make a plan to get that paid off, and fast! 

Are you closer to your financial goals? Any large expenses you have planned are a year closer than they were before. Vacations, children’s education and your retirement are all looming ahead. Each of these items have dollar amounts and timelines to hit. Review your plan and decide if you are going to hit your goals or adjust your expectations. If you’re right on track, or have completed one of your goals, as yourself “what’s next?” and look forward to another financially successful year! 

About The Author

Ryder Taff

Ryder Taff currently lives in Jackson not too far from the home he grew up in! After graduating from the University of Bristol (England) he came home and started working at New Perspectives, Inc, an investment advisory that he is now a shareholder in. With his passion for education, he focuses on getting everyone from young professionals to families to retirees into excellent financial habits. You can reach him at rtaff@newper.com

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