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5 Ways To Improve Your Finances

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you’re like most people, you’re feeling broke after the holidays.

Jamie Meredith at Hefren-Tillotson says this is the perfect time of year to return to basics.

“Now is the time to pull all those statements in, spread them all over on desk, make sure they are in the right position,” she said.

Melissa Richey at Fragasso Financial Advisors says returning to basics means putting together a personal or family budget.

“Figure out how much money is coming in, how much money is going out,” she said. “Do you have any extra money that you can then start to save for the goals that you want to accomplish?”

Most people don’t do a budget which is why they spend more on credit than they should. David Hoffman at DB Root says pay off those credit cards and keep it off.

“The credit card companies are starting to get lenient again,” he said. “I’m getting a lot more mail from credit card companies. It’s important that you don’t get caught up in that whole cycle again.”

All three financial advisors recommend putting more into your 401K and getting every penny of the employer match.

“It saves you taxes throughout the year, and it gives you tax-deferred growth on your investment,” Richey said. “So it’s one of the best ways that you can save for your retirement, hands down.”

The Social Security payroll tax has been cut temporarily this year. The advisors suggest putting that two percent in your 401K.

Other tips include getting a will, power of attorney and a medical directive.

The bottom line is it’s time to face up to our personal finances.

“People don’t like look at reality sometimes,” Hoffman said. “If their financial situation doesn’t look good, they just try to avoid it.”

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