Money    

Making the Most of Your Family's Paycheck



6 tips to stretch your income

Here are six helpful tips to help Hudson Valley families stretch their paycheck.

  • For those who have a 401k plan at work, take advantage of it up to the full matching amount — don’t leave free money on the table. Even without matching employer contributions, 401k contributions are excellent pre-tax deductions.
  • Flexible spending accounts are worth a check, but weigh the pros and cons of your employer’s program since some of the contribution can be lost if you overestimate how much you’ll need.
  • Contribute to a 529 college savings plan. This will bring down your taxable income and puts money away for your children’s education. A variety of plans are available so do your homework.
  • Clothes are marked down significantly at the end of each season, so shop for next year’s kids clothes during these sales. Buy gently used items and re-sell them.
  • Cut down on credit card use, rather, store money away in envelopes or binders. And be strong, when the money is gone for groceries, it is gone. Learn to pace your spending and eating habits.
  • Save on gas by driving to the farthest location and working your way back. Designate a “stay at home” day.

(Before making any investment or retirement decisions, consult a financial expert.)

READ MORE: Talk to your kids about financial responsibility

Jennifer Gregory is a freelance writer.