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2023—The Start Of A New Year

By Dave Verbeke, Financial Advisor

With the New Year upon us, it’s a great time to review & evaluate your financial plan and set goals for the coming year. Inflation is anticipated to continue to be higher than usual which means your hard earned dollars won’t go as far as they did in the past. Here are a few ways to look over your spending and free up dollars for additional saving & investing.

Review your insurance. If you haven’t recently reviewed the cost of your insurance coverage, now may be the time; especially if you have a good driving record and little or no claim expense. Independent agents can look at pricing from multiple carriers to determine the most cost efficient coverage for you. Packaging auto & home coverage can also qualify you for discounts. We can provide a referral to an independent agent from our alliance partners. Another area to look at in the insurance area is life insurance that you might not need at this stage of your life. You might have maintained coverage until your house was paid off or your kids made it through school. If there is cash value in the policy, you should determine if there is coverage or benefits available to pay for long term care expenses. If you don’t have coverage for long term care and are in good health, take a look at using the cash value and exchanging it into a hybrid life/long term care policy.

Monthly expenses. Review your ongoing monthly expenses to see if there are
areas that can be trimmed. The average household spends over $200 a month
on subscriptions. Cable bills tend to creep up yearly. With new options like Hulu or YouTube TV, you might not need to use a cable company. Also, take a look at your streaming costs from Netflix, Apple TV and Amazon and see if you’re still using them for content. Is there overlap that can be trimmed? Renegotiate your contract or look at annual vs. monthly contracts to reduce costs. Apps like Mint & Rocket Money can help you manage unused & unwanted subscriptions.

Use cash back apps. If you do a lot of online shopping you should take a look at cash back apps like Rakuten for online purchases. By going through that app you can get money back on your regular purchases. Many credit card issuers also have monthly promotions from retailers that give you cash back on your statement.

Extra money? If you’ve been successful in reducing expenses, you could use
the extra money to improve your financial health. Increasing your 401k or
health savings account contribution or funding an investment account are a
few options. You could also use the extra money to pay down debts and help
reach your financial goals faster.

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