Start the new year with your finances in order

Get your finances in order for the start of the year

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The end of the year is almost here and that means it’s time for a financial checkup.

A new survey by BankRate.com says that 85 percent of Americans are aware of their credit score. That’s a drastic jump from last year, but even if you know your credit situation, there are things you can do before the new year to help keep your finances in order.

First, if you’ve had any life changes like a new baby, marriage or divorce, take that into account and re-budget now.

Look at how you are spending your money. Re-assess your retirement contributions. If you’re not maxing out those contributions, you’re not doing yourself any favors. If you think you can’t do it, try increasing what you are putting into a 401k plan by 1 percent. Then, keep increasing it little by little until it hurts.

Michael Joyce with the Richmond financial firm Agili says you also need to check your beneficiaries on retirement accounts in case something happens to you.

“I actually just did this last week and I found out that my youngest son wasn’t listed as a beneficiary on a couple small Roth IRA accounts," Joyce said. “Even though I wouldn’t be around anymore, I’m sure he wouldn’t be happy to get cut out.”

And finally, have an emergency fund or start one now. Have a goal of putting at least $500 in savings over the next six months. If you start in January, just $85 bucks a month will get you to that goal by the end of June.

Copyright 2018 WWBT. All rights reserved.