Gift cards are a popular and convenient gift idea, so it's no wonder that nearly $27 billion in gift cards are purchased by Americans during the holiday season. For whatever reasons, nearly $1 billion worth of those gift cards go unused by their recipients each year, and there's even a market for buying back unused gift cards at discounted prices. But, be careful if you intend to sell back an unused card--or else you may fall victim to a gift card resale scam.
Take a look at the amounts withheld from your paycheck to guard against an unexpectedly large tax bill for 2018. To check if you are setting aside the right amount, use the withholding calculator on the IRS website. To adjust your withholding allowance, give your employer an updated Form W-4.
Maximize your 401(k) contributions. Most people aren't contributing the maximum to their 401(k)s, or even contributing enough to get their full matching contribution. Only 10 percent reached the $18,000 limit in 2016, and only 12 percent of people 50 or older took advantage of the $6,000 catch-up contribution, according to Vanguard.
With this summer's massive Equifax hack, our personal data is now likely to be less secure. If you're not actively in the market for new credit, the best way to protect yourself is to put a freeze on your credit reports. That will stop criminals who don't already have your data from opening fraudulent accounts in your name.
Every year, you're allowed one free credit report from each of the big three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. December is a good time to order a report and check it for errors. You can stagger the reports by requesting one now, the second report in four months, and the third in eight months. That way you can get up-to-date reports and remain alert for errors or changes throughout the year.
Irma read an article in Consumer Reports Online called, "Your December Financial To-Do List: 7 timely ways to organize your life" and concluded if she was organized financially she could be sure she wouldn't fall back into the splurging behavior she had experienced in 2016. Today Irma will relay the first two suggested financial organizing behaviors she'll follow before the end of 2017.
This is a list of our Marion County 4-H Clubs and contact information.