2017 Financial Planning Strategies
Shaping up your 2017 financial planning strategies may seem like a big goal, perhaps even too daunting. However, if you take one small step at a time, these small steps will add up. Here are suggestions.
- Shift out of automatic.
Have you established automatic bill pay at your bank or service provider, or automatic charges to your credit card?
Small step: Look for payments for goods or services you no longer use, such as recurring monthly subscriptions, and cancel them.
Big goal: Reduce total expenses and increase savings.
- Take the urgency out of emergency.
Sure, you know that having an account with enough funds specifically earmarked for emergencies is a good idea. But the amount you need to save seems overwhelming. The good news is you don’t have to immediately fund six months of living expenses.
Small step: Set up a separate account with automatic deposits of $5 or $10 per paycheck, perhaps with funds you’ve redirected from those unused recurring monthly subscriptions.
Big goal: An emergency fund with enough cash to cover six months of expenses.
- Give yourself credit.
Maybe you intend to pay off your credit card debt. But do you have a plan? Knowing where you stand is the first step in getting to where you want to be.
Small step: Make a list of your cards, the balances, the minimum payments, and the interest rates.
Big goal: Eliminate finance charges by being able to pay off your balance each month.
- Retire your excuses.
Does your employer offer a retirement plan? If so, you may be leaving money on the table.
Small step: Find out what amount is on offer as “matching” funds. That’s money your employer will add to your account when you make contributions.
Big goal: Maximize your retirement contributions.
Small steps can lead to big improvements in your financial well-being. Contact us for more tips.
2017 Tax News
Standard mileage rates go down for 2017
Have you noticed the price of gas? So has the IRS – and the reimbursement rate for business mileage has gone down as a result. The new rate for 2017 is 53.5¢ per mile, down from the 2016 rate of 54¢ per mile.
The rate for medical and moving mileage also decreased. Effective January 1, the standard rate is 17¢ per mile, down from last year’s 19¢. The charitable mileage rate remains 14¢.
Some federal income tax refunds may be temporarily delayed
In general, you can expect your federal refund to be issued approximately 21 days after your electronically filed tax return has been accepted. However, identity theft is still a major problem, and the IRS continues to implement new strategies to protect taxpayer data.
For example, if you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit on your 2016 individual federal income tax return, your refund will be held until February 15.
If you would like help with your 2017 financial planning strategies, please give us a call. We’re here whenever you need us.