Didn't get your new year off to a great start? Don't worry. There's always Monday. The start of a new week is a popular time to turn over a new leaf. (You've no doubt heard the expression "the diet starts on Monday.") And, no, you don't need to take time off work to start working on your financial fitness.
There's plenty of smart stuff you can do simply by logging onto your human resources portal, and a few things you can just as easily address once you're off the clock. Here are seven money moves to make on a Monday.
Alternate option: Print out or bookmark this list and get one money thing done each day of the week. You'll be feeling better about your finances in no time!
1. Up your health saving account contributions
A health savings account helps anyone with a high-deductible health care plan cover out-of-pocket medical expenses, including copays for doctors' visits and prescription drugs. If you have an HDHP and you don't have an HSA, you should look into opening one.
If you do have an HSA, make sure you have enough money going into the account. Contribution limits tend to change year-to-year. In 2019, individuals can put up to $3,500 in an HSA, while families can contribute up to $7,000.
2. Reset (& forget) your 401(k)
401(k) contributions limits also rose in 2019. Consider adjusting the percentage of your paycheck going into that employer-sponsored retirement account. It's best practice to max out. For 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal Thrift Savings Plan, you can now contribute $19,000 a year.
If that number feels lofty, verify the amount of money your employer will match and aim to contribute at least that much to your 401(k). If you can't meet either number right away, see if you can up your contributions by 1% over the course of this year. Most employers give employees the option of setting up automatic increases at different intervals.
3. Diversify your other investments
Check in with your certified financial planner, robo-adviser or fund account manager to make sure your portfolio has the right mix of low- to high-risk investments.
4. Set up direct deposit for a savings account
Most people have their paycheck directly deposited into their checking account, but you can usually ask your employer to divert funds into more than one banking account. Consider rolling some money over into a high-yield savings account with an online bank. It's a great way to build a rainy day fund. You can compare current competitive savings and money market offers with our partner Even Financial.
5. Get rid of one major money waster
Everyone has something they're still paying for that's long past its use case. Cancel a zombie membership. Get rid of that annual fee credit card you don't even use. Cut ties with your renters insurer now that you own a home and a new property and casualty policy. (Hey, it happens.)
6. Create a will
Thanks to the internet, getting a will written is easier than ever. Online sites like Trust & Will, LegalZoom and Willing.com can help you draft a legal and comprehensive estate plan. (Use offer code "protectmylegacy" to get $10 off from our partner Trust & Will.)
7. Apply for life insurance
Take the first step to getting the financial protection your family needs by filling out a life insurance application. You can do so if you have your driver’s license, proof of income, proof of residency and Social Security number on hand. Policygenius can help you compare life insurance quotes across carriers and walk your through the rest of the process.
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