Are you looking for ways to trim expenses? There are a lot of different reasons to be worried about money and spending these days. Cutting back on unnecessary outlays is always a good idea, but make sure you don’t chop out important budget items in the process.
The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) explains which costs should not be cut:
Hold on to Health Insurance
Health care costs for individuals and families are skyrocketing, with workers spending $1,600 more on average for premiums on family coverage than they did 10 years ago. Whether you work for a company that offers employee health care coverage or you pay for your own insurance, you have likely seen your out-of-pocket costs rising steadily in recent years. If you and your family are in good health now, you may be tempted to cut back on this expense, but don’t do it. It’s impossible to know when a medical emergency may strike, and having insurance ensures that you or a family member will receive proper care that does not break your budget.
Don’t Skip Prescription Drugs
The cost of prescription medications can take a big bite out of your monthly budget, so many people are skipping some medicines or scaling back on others. This can not only endanger your health, but also cost you more later on if a treatable medical problem gets worse. Instead of skipping doses, try other cost-cutting approaches, including asking your doctor or pharmacist about cheaper generic alternatives. In addition, many drug companies offer assistance programs for those who can’t afford their medications. You can find out more information about them at www.rxassist.org.
Keep Up with Car Repairs
Just as it’s important to maintain good health, it’s also wise to keep your car in top form. That’s because the money you spend now could save you much more later. By getting a regular tune up you can prevent more expensive problems later. Keeping your tires inflated properly, for example, can cut down on fuel costs and help avoid accidents on slick roads. The price of many preventive steps can actually be a good investment.
Be True to Your Retirement Savings Routine
During tough times, should you be setting aside retirement savings that you may not need for many years? The answer is a resounding yes. Even if you are only able to put away a few dollars a week, that nest egg will grow over time, and the more money you save, the more earnings potential you will have if you invest wisely. Even though it may be a challenge to keep up with your retirement savings now, it’s much easier to build your nest egg over time than to do it hastily in the last few years before retirement.
Don’t Forget Emergency Savings
In addition to your retirement savings, it’s a good idea to save as much as possible in a separate account for any potential emergency. If you do lose your job or fail to get a loan for a car or other necessary purchase because credit is tight, even a small amount of back-up savings will come in handy.
Your CPA Can Help
If you have questions about reining in expenses or getting the most out of your dollar, remember that your CPA can offer sound insights to assist you in your decision making. Turn to him or her for advice on all your financial questions. If you don’t have a CPA, you can easily locate one online using the NJSCPA’s free, online Find-A-CPA service. Just go to www.findacpa.org, and in a few clicks you can locate a highly qualified professional who can assist you.
For more information on various personal financial matters, visit the NJSCPA’s public service website at www.MoneyMattersNJ.com. While visiting, you can subscribe to Your Money Matters, the NJSCPA’s free, monthly email newsletter to receive valuable personal financial planning advice throughout the year.
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