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Closing Out the Books on 2017

It’s this time of year that we all get a few extra days off to enjoy some time with friends and family. It’s also a chance to catch our breath and reflect on the end of another year. In the financial area of your life, there are a few tips to save you money that are worth considering.

Our first tip is to pre-pay your January 2018 mortgage payment. Mortgage interest is tax deductible. If you can afford to send the payment in early it will result in an extra month’s interest that you can deduct on your taxes for the 2017 tax year. Property taxes are also tax deductible, and in both cases, make sure the payment clears by December 31st.

Secondly, analyze how much principal you have paid down on your mortgage this year. Does it match up with your expectations? If your annual principal payments do not match your goals then perhaps it’s a good time to send in a lump sum payment to your mortgage lender to reduce the balance further. This may coincide well with year-end bonuses that many people receive this time of year. Whether you pay down your mortgage with a lump sum at year end or commit to paying down your balance by as little as $100 a month in the future, it’s a rewarding feeling to start chipping away at your balance.

Lastly, many credit card companies send out annual account summaries at year end that detail how much and where you’ve spent. If you’re like us, reviewing year-end statements usually leaves you scratching your head in amazement of how much money was spent throughout the year. But there is a lesson to be learned in all of this and money to be saved. By reviewing your year-end credit card statements you can identify how much interest you are being charged every month. You may be surprised to find that your rates on these bills are ranging from 9% to 21%, and possibly higher. Regardless of how small your balances are on these accounts, if you’re not paying them off each month then you’re paying too much money at these rates. There are options to reduce your rates and save money such as negotiating your rate with the company.

Good luck with your year-end review, and enjoy a happy and safe holiday season!

Source: DLP Marketing

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