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Wise financial decisions to make before the end of 2020

Time flies, and the end of the year will come earlier than it seems. It's time to take some smart cash steps before 2020 ends. The Penny Hoarder.

Photo: Shutterstock

Here are nine strategic steps you should take before early 2021.

1. Spend FSA Money: Don't Miss the Moment

If you have a flexible expense account (FSA) through your employer for your health plan, keep this key fact in mind: The biggest disadvantage of FSA is that you lose money that you haven’t spent by the end of the year.

You can get money from your FSA to cover the costs of prescriptions, copays for a doctor's visit, over-the-counter medical supplies, eyeglasses, or contact lenses. Your account usually comes with a debit card that you can use to pay for medical expenses when they arise.

2. Promote your HSA: watch out for tax deductions

If you don't have an FSA, you may have an HSA. This is a health savings account and is also used to cover personal medical expenses.

HSA's goal is to help people offset the cost of high deductible health plans. It helps make health care affordable for families living under the burden of premiums and deductions that can run into the thousands of dollars.

HSA has fewer rush deadlines because, unlike the FSA, the money you didn't spend this year goes to the next year.

Keep in mind that any money you put into your HSA before the end of the year is tax deductible, which can help reduce your 2020 income tax. You can deposit up to $ 3400 per person or $ 6750 per family into your account.

3. Start investing this year: you only need $ 1

The best time to start investing is now, not later. Don't wait another year! Of course, the stock market can be volatile, but over time, the value of your investment will rise.

You can start small if you like. For example, using the application S you can invest in parts of well-known companies like Amazon, Google or Apple for as little as $ 1. When these companies make a profit, you can make it too. Some companies even send you a check for your share of the profits on a quarterly basis, called dividends.

It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $ 5 sign up bonus once you deposit $ 5 into your account. Subscription prices start at $ 1 per month.

On the subject: Goods and services that can be obtained for free in December

4. Check your credit score: add 300 points

It's important to keep track of your credit score and stay organized. It will play an important role in any major purchase you want to make - be it a house or a car.

So if you want to get your credit score back on track - or even if it's okay and you want to improve it, try using the free website. Credit Sesame.

Within two minutes, you will have access to your credit score, any accounts in arrears, and a range of personalized tips to improve your rating. You will even be able to spot errors (every fifth report has information about this).

For example, Atlanta-based James Cooper used Credit Sesame to raise his credit rating by nearly 300 points in six months. Do you want to see for yourself? It's free and registration takes about 90 seconds.

5. Ditch expensive insurance: you can save $ 826 a year

To free up extra space in your 2021 budget, start by cutting down on monthly bills like paying for your current car insurance.

Most of the time, not having insurance is outright illegal, so you've probably agreed to pay a lot of money. But this is optional.

Free website called Savvy helps you find the best rates in just 30 seconds. This saves an average of $ 826 per year.

All you have to do is connect your current insurance and Savvy will search hundreds of insurers for the best price for the same coverage. It will even help you cancel your old policy and get a refund from your current insurance company. Better yet, it's completely free.

If you find a better deal, you can jump right into it without having to wait for the next renewal or even the next payment.

6. Take a Step to Protect Your Family: Leave Them Money

Have you thought about how your family will live without your income after your death? How will they pay the bills? Teach children? Now is a good time to start planning for the future by considering a term life insurance policy.

You probably think: I have neither the time nor the money for this. But it can take a few minutes to fill out the application - and you can leave your family up to $ 1 million with the help of the company Bestow.

Deals start at just $ 16 per month. Knowing that your family will be taken care of is priceless.

If you're under 54 and want to get your life insurance quotes quickly without a medical check-up or even getting off your couch, Bestow offers a free quote.

7. Find out about paying credit card bills this month

You don't want to drag your credit card debt into 2021 like a giant financial anvil tied to your ankle, do you?

Your credit card company gets rich from high interest rates. The AmOne website offers help. If you owe a credit card company $ 50 or less, the project will give you a low interest loan that you can use to pay off all of your balances.

Benefit? You will have to pay one bill every month. And since individual loans have lower interest rates (rates AmOne start at 3,49% per annum), you will get out of debt much faster. Plus: there is no credit card payment this month.

AmOne also won't make you queue or call the bank. And if you're worried about not qualifying, you can check it online for free. The check will only take two minutes and can help you pay off your debt faster.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

8. Contribute to your IRA

Would you like to retire someday? Sure! If you have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) as part of your retirement portfolio, you will want to deposit as much as you can this year.

The maximum contribution for 2020 is $ 6000, or $ 7000 for those over 50, and is completely tax deductible.

9. Cancel one of the streaming services

Quarantine has forced many of us to subscribe to multiple streaming services. But it is not necessary to postpone all of them to 2021.

If you've subscribed to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO, it might be time to check which subscriptions you're actually using. Maybe it's time to cancel at least one of them.

And if you still have the cable, it might be time to finally cut the cord and save some money by switching to a streaming service instead - just don't get carried away and subscribe to many services at once.

Read also on ForumDaily:

The IRS admitted that it mistakenly sent financial aid checks to citizens of other countries

One in six tenants in the United States does not pay for housing on time: what to do if it's you

Invoices that never need to be put on automatic payment

19 million Americans can save money: mortgage refinancing has never been more profitable

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