Money moves to make in 60 minutes

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Thanks to daylight saving time, we get an extra hour in our day and that means we have extra time to revamp our finances.

Local financial professional Barry Bigelow from Great Waters Financial shared four ways you can work on your finances on Good Morning Northland.

The first one is to create a holiday budget. Bigelow says to be proactive and avoid racking up debt over the holidays. He added that on average, Americans have about $6,300 in credit card debt so to avoid this you should make a holiday shopping budget for this year. Bigelow says to make a list of who you need to get gifts for, how much you want to spend and any other items you might need for the holidays like decorations and food.

A recent survey finds more than half of Americans have less than three months of savings in their emergency account. Bigelow says when families don’t have money to face an unexpected expense, like a broken-down car or a medical bill, they may have to borrow to cover the tab and that can lead to debt. Bigelow recommends people have at least 3-6 months’ worth of savings in the bank. With the extra hour, he says to set up auto payments and pay yourself by setting aside $25 out of each paycheck that automatically goes to your emergency fund.

Next is to share your financial information with your family. Bigelow says that parents can tell their adult children what income they have like social security, investments and pensions. Talk about your debts and expenses. Share where you have your bank accounts and other financial accounts. Bigelow suggests telling them where you keep your usernames and passwords if you bank online. Bigelow says if your children don’t know where to find your financial assets, they may never locate them. In many states, the state becomes the custodian of any unclaimed property.

Lastly, increase your retirement savings. Bigelow says to take this extra hour to make sure you’re contributing 10-15% of your income to an employer-sponsored 401(k), or another type of retirement account like an IRA. Bigelow claims that when you contribute to a retirement account it will not only boost your savings but will reduce your taxable income, as well. ?