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It’s never too late to get into financial shape

Oct 17, 2016 11:31AM ● Published by Today's Family

Did you know that financial counseling is often available through your local credit union?  In fact, northeast Ohio’s Cardinal Credit Union has trained nearly half of their staff to assist you, free of charge, in achieving your financial goals.  With a little bit of preparation and work now, you can pave the way to future success.  Here are a few tips to help get your finances in order by the end of the year.

Review your W-4 – Common events like securing a new job, having a baby, or getting married can change your tax liability and tax bracket.  Not everyone or every dollar earned is taxed the exact same amount.  There are seven tax brackets of varying sizes with the lowest being subject to a 10% marginal tax rate and the highest being subject to 39.6%.  It is also a good time to reevaluate your withholdings.  Understanding how tax brackets work as well as which bracket you are in, can help you make better informed financial decisions for you and your family.

Donate to charity – If you itemize your deductions, boosting your charitable contributions for the year makes sense if you are trying to reduce your tax liability.  Also donating physical goods will help de-clutter your home, as well as gain a financial benefit by receiving a tax deduction.  You can deduct the current market value of your items.  Donating either cash or goods will require a receipt from the charity in order to qualify for the deduction.

Double-check your health insurance, flexible spending plan, and retirement benefits – Contribute to a tax advantage account before year’s end and your traditional IRA or 401(k) will provide you with a tax deduction right now.  Understand that tax deferred earnings are more efficient over time, helping grow your money for the future.  Your HSA contribution grows tax free, in addition to providing you with a deduction as long as you use the money for qualified health costs.  Now is the time to be sure you are taking advantage of every opportunity to lower your tax obligations and expenses plus increase your retirement contributions.

Sell unused items – As you spruce up your home preparing for sale, or de-clutter to setup for holiday décor, you may find many items that have sat unused for years.  By selling your items on eBay or Craigslist, you can create more room in your home and also earn extra cash for your wallet.

Who wouldn’t like to have a little bit more money in their budget or savings account?  Call a Cardinal financial counselor today at 1-877-900-MYCU (6928).  They will be happy to help you pump-up your wallet for 2017.

Cardinal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative serving the people of Lake, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Ashtabula, Portage, Summit, Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana counties.  They are open to the public.

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