Financial adviser offers New Year’s money management tips

JACKSON, Tenn. — New Year’s resolutions include everything from eating right, getting in better shape and saving money.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News reporter Josh Robinson sat down with a financial adviser to get some tips on how to keep your wallet full this year.

“I know people are reeling from Christmas, so it’s important to get back on track,” Justin Howell, a financial adviser for Voya Financial, said.

Howell says a budget is the easiest way to do that. “It helps you know where your money is going, and what’s coming in. Managing those expenses, that’s a great thing to do. It’s very important,” Howell said.

Another way Howell says you can plan ahead is your retirement fund. Specifically, if your job offers one, he says to contribute as much as you can to it.

“Find out what the match is from the employer then try to put up to that match if you can,” Howell said.

And, if you have any extra income, experts say to start building up your emergency fund.

“If that’s already taken care of, add to your retirement account, bump it up,” Howell said. “We’ve never heard anybody say ‘man, I regret saving too much for retirement.'”

Tax season will also be here before we know it.

“It may be a good idea to go ahead and talk to your accountant, to find out, ‘hey, is there anything else I need to do?'” Howell said.

Howell says the two biggest mistakes he sees people make is not saving enough and taking money out of their retirement fund while they’re still working.

Howell tells everyone that comes into his office, no matter their age, saving money is a long-term goal.

“The stock market, if you watch it on CNBC every day, it’ll drive you crazy, but it is a long-term goal,” Howell said.

Howell says the easiest way to keep track of all of your expenses is just using an Excel spreadsheet.

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