Fall money planning: tips on preventing financial abuse

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(PIX11) --  As we fall into a new season, it's not a bad idea to get a financial check-up with financial expert Vera Gibbons.

 

FIX YOUR FINANCES FOR FALL

 

1) PREPARE FOR RISING INTEREST RATES

GIVEN THAT THE ECONOMY IS ON THE MEND, THE FED IS EXPECTED TO END ITS ASSET-PURCHASE PROGRAM IN OCTOBER. AND ONCE THIS QUANTITATIVE EASING IS OVER, INTEREST RATES WILL EVENTUALLY RISE.  THIS MEANS THAT THE COST OR BORROWING MONEY AT RECORD LOWS WILL BE A THING OF THE PAST.  SOO-IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN BUYING A BIG TICKET ITEM LIKE A HOUSE, FOR EXAMPLE, CONSIDER DOING IT SOONER RATHER THAN LATER (A 1% RISE IN MORTGAGE RATES REDUCES YOUR PURCHASING POWER BY 11%) AND IF YOU’RE CARRYING CC DEBT, START CHIPPING AWAY AT THIS DEBT BEFORE IT BECOMES AN EVEN BIGGER BURDEN.

 

2) EXPECT HIGHER PRICES ON GROCERY STAPLES

POSSIBLE PRICES HIKES ARE EXPECTED THIS FALL ON A NUMBER OF STAPLES, FROM ORANGES TO CHOCOLATE TO CHEESE, BACON TO BUTTER AND MORE! CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES. APPLES INSTEAD OF ORANGES; CANDY OTHER THAN CHOC (OR WAIT UNTIL NOV 1 WHEN POST HALLOWEEN CHOC WILL BE ON SALE); PB&J SANDWICH INSTEAD OF CHEESE; MARGERINE INSTEAD OF BUTTER OR STORE BRAND BUTTER.

 

3) START SAVING FOR THE HOLIDAYS

CHRISTMAS IS ONLY ABOUT 3 MONTHS AWAY AND MANY AMERICANS FAIL TO PLAN AHEAD..PARTIES, GIFTS, TRAVEL – IT ADDS UP AND WITHOUT PROPER PLANNING, WE INEVITABLY OVER SPEND. TO AVOID THE POST HOLIDAY HANGOVER, CREATE THE HOLIDAY BUDGET NOW – SEE WHAT’S COMING IN THE DOOR AND WHAT’S GOING OUT, DETERMINE WHERE YOU CAN CUT BACK AND COME UP W OTHER WAYS TO POCKET MORE. THEN SET UP A SPECIAL HOLIDAY ACCOUNT

4) REBALANCE YOUR PORTFOLIO

THE UNITED STATES IS ENJOYING ONE OF THE BEST STOCK MARKET SURGES IN ITS HISTORY. WE’RE TALKING BIG PHENOMENAL GAINS…AND THAT’S GREAT, BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT INVESTMENT SUCCESS OFTEN BRINGS WITH IT A GROWING EXPOSURE TO RISK. IS THIS RISK TOO MUCH FOR YOU TO TOLERATE? REVIEW YOUR PORTFOLIO AND CONSIDER MAKING ADJUSTMENTS IF YOU THINK YOUR EXPOSURE TO CERTAIN ASSETS HAS GROWN UNCOMFORTABLY HIGH.

 

5) REVIEW TAX SITUATION

IT’S NEVER TOO SOON TO START PLANNING FOR THE 2014 TAX SEASON. AFTER ALL, WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO TRY AND GET YOUR PAPERWORK TOGETHER (RECEIPTS, RECORDS, ETC.) OFTEN ENDS UP COSTING YOU, PARTICULARLY IF YOU MISS OUT ON MONEY-SAVING CREDITS OR DEDUCTIONS. NOW IS ALSO A GOOD TIME TO REVIEW YOUR W/HOLDING TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE HAVING THE PROPER AMOUNT WITHHELD.

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