Luke 16:11 (NIV) “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”
People that are successful managing worldly wealth have no secret powers or smarter than anyone else. Success has less to do with what you know and more with what you do! Setting goals, making plans, and following through on them, are a great start. Please consider these following year-end money moves to hopefully increase your chances for success managing your worldly wealth.
Go through your closets and your children’s closets for items to donate. Get a receipt for your donation for a possible tax deduction in the upcoming year. Keep in mind that the donation must be delivered to the charity before December 31. For example, if you chose to write a check to your favorite charity, the deduction is recognized on the date the charity receives the gift, not the date that is written on your check.
Check your credit report
You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs) which are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. From buying a car, house, or any time you need to borrow money, the information on your credit report can mean the difference of several thousands in extra interest you may pay depending what is on that report. In addition, with the rise of identity theft cases, it makes sense to ensure the information on your credit report is yours and most importantly correct! There are many companies and sites that you can go through to receive a copy of your report, but there is only ONE official site explicitly directed by Federal law and that is www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
Review your spending and cut some of the fat
Most people have a pretty good idea of how much money they earn each week but many have no idea where all of it goes. That is especially true when it comes to miscellaneous/personal expenses. An easy place to find low hanging fruit is reviewing where you are spending your money on the places you like to go and the things you like to do. From things like makeup, hobbies, traveling, entertainment and gifts, those types of expenses can add up very quickly. Am I saying that you shouldn’t spend money on these types of things? No, but I am saying that you need to identify just how much you are spending and then decide on where you can cut back. For example, if you like getting you nails twice a month, cut your salon time to once a month and doing them yourself every other time. If you take two big trips a year, cut it down to one big trip. People that are good with their finances spend less and save more.
Calculate your retirement needs
Retirement isn’t an if question; it is a when question. To get an idea of how much you need to save to fund a comfortable retirement I would encourage you to check out the following site www.choosetosave.org/ballpark. I do not have any affiliation with the site but I frequently share this site with others so they can re-adjust their budgets for the upcoming year.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national organization headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that focuses on seeing no single mom walk alone. The organization serves more than 50,000 single mothers annually from around the United States and more than 2,000 in Greater Baton Rouge through their support group network, outreach event, educational classes, online communities, and more. For more information, visitÂ www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.