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The simple money moves you should make in 2023

Between the pandemic and inflation battered budgets, 2023 gives us all a chance to hit the reset button.

SAN ANTONIO — It is time to ditch debt and save some.

“Look for ways to boost your cash flow and build up savings,” said Andrea Woroch, a smart saving expert. “Savings is so important when we enter a time of economic uncertainty because we don’t know how stable our jobs are. So having money saved, one to three months of living expenses, in a separate account will really give you peace of that you can pay your bills.”

It can be tough to find the extra money to pay down debt and put it into savings, so consider a side hustle.

“The other benefit of that is that you now have a separate source of income, so that if your main source of income dries up, you have something else to lean on and potentially grow it," Woroch said.

Consider dog walking, virtual tutoring, or doing deliveries.

Next, review your monthly bills to find more savings.

“Find a few minutes to look at each bill and think about how you can save,” Woroch said. “Look for services you don’t need, extra add-ons that you’re not using, and cancel them. Also, look at those subscription services. A lot of us are signed up for services that we forgot about.”

Start by comparing rates on your auto insurance annually to make sure you are getting the best price. Also, review the terms of your insurance policy.

“Maybe there are things you really don’t need and that could lower your monthly premium,” Woroch said.

See if you really use that unlimited data plan for your cell.

“Are you paying for more data than you really need?” Woroch said. “Most of us can hook up to our home WIFI or at work, you have WIFI,” Woroch said. “So you really don’t need those unlimited plans."  

Another way to find savings is to pick up a new skill this year so you can do yourself what you now pay other people to do.

“See how much you can save,” Woroch said. “Really try to do some of these yourself. Maybe not every time, but even if you could supplement every other time or something like that, it can really help save you a lot.”

Learn to do your own pet grooming, car washing, or manicures for example.

Also, resolve to focus on your financial needs before you help others.

“Put on your own oxygen mask first,” said Samantha Ettus, a financial expert with AARP. “You should not be thinking about wedding expenses or college tuition before you think about your own retirement plan. So having that in place is essential before you start incurring expenses for other people.”

Make a point to check your credit report. See if there are any mistakes and dispute them. Errors could be lowering your credit score. Get your report free at AnnualCreditReport.com.

“You’re able to check all through your credit reports once per week,” said Nathan Grant with MoneyTips.com. “That’s something a lot of people don’t know.”

Plus, make an effort not to miss payments on credit cards, loans, or bills.

“Even a single late payment can remain on your credit report for seven years,” Grant said. “So one or two mistakes maybe now could end up affecting you down the line when you go to apply for a car loan or home loan.”

On-time payments will also save you late fees.

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