It’s always good to have some extra money heading into the holidays, whether to spend on gifts or to have more to decorate your Atlanta new home. Personal finance expert Steve Repack recently wrote in the Equifax Finance blog, “Personal Finance Advice: Five Tricks and Treats for Your Finances” a list of money management tricks in case your personal finances are more frightening than you would like.
- Trick #1: Establish a “me” account for you to enjoy your hard-earned money to give you guilt-free spending that won’t break your budget. The idea is that since going incredibly hard-core at saving is often unrealistic and unattainable, it’s better to set aside a small portion of money each month for non-essentials.
- Trick #2: Give to nonprofit organizations to help your neighbors and take advantage of tax deductions. Do good and save a little.
- Trick #3: Track your spending for one month to see where exactly your money goes. You’ll also likely end up with more money than usual at the end of the month, says Repack, as you’ll be carefully detailing your spending as you go and less likely to spend money on non-essentials like expensive cups of coffee.
- Trick #4: Reduce the number of personal exemptions claimed on your W-4. If you claim fewer exemptions, you will have more money withheld in taxes from your paycheck, but this may be an effective way of forced saving each pay period. After tax season, you’ll get a larger refund that you can immediately move into a savings account or use to pay off debts.
- Trick #5: Start or increase your contributions to your employer’s retirement plan. If your employer offers a match, this is free money for your retirement. At most companies, 3 to 5 percent of your salary will be matched.
Learn more tricks about financial management at the Equifax Finance blog, where you can find tips and tricks on topics like insurance, retirement, taxes, saving, identity theft protection, credit scores and more.