Saving in a 401(k) is typically considered a great thing to do for your future. It may mean getting by on a little less money today, but it will help you pay for a more comfortable lifestyle in retirement. It also could help you snag a little extra bonus from your employer in the form of a 401(k) match.

But there are times when stashing your money in one of these accounts could hurt you more than it helps you. If any of the three scenarios below apply to you, you may want to rethink your 401(k) contributions for 2023.

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1. You're losing your employer match and your 401(k) offers bad investment options

A 401(k) match is one of the best parts about saving in one of these accounts. This is essentially a bonus you get from your employer just for saving for your retirement.

However, it's not a guarantee. When times are tough, some employers may scale back or even eliminate their 401(k) matches until things turn around.

You don't have to stop putting money in this account just because you're losing your company match, but you may want to if the 401(k) doesn't offer any investment options you like. If they're either too risky or conservative for you or charge high fees, that could be a sign it's not the best home for your money.

Consider saving in an IRA, instead. These enable you to invest your money in pretty much anything you want, though you can only set aside up to $6,500 in 2023 or $7,500 if you're 50 or older. If you max this out, you could switch back to your 401(k) or save in a taxable brokerage account or health savings account (HSA).

2. You want Roth savings but only have access to a traditional 401(k)

The government taxes retirement accounts in one of two ways. Tax-deferred retirement accounts, which include most 401(k)s and traditional IRAs, give you a tax break on your contributions in the year you make them. But you must pay taxes on your contributions and withdrawals later. Roth accounts, on the other hand, don't provide any sort of upfront tax break, but they give you tax-free withdrawals in retirement.

Roth accounts make a lot of sense if you think you'll be in the same or a higher tax bracket once you retire and your income isn't too high to contribute to one. Most people who want Roth savings use Roth IRAs because few employers offer Roth 401(k)s.

If you'd rather get your taxes out of the way now, you might prefer to open a Roth IRA and put your money there first in 2023. Then, if you max this out, you can return to your 401(k) or choose a different account.

3. You have a lot of high-interest debt

High-interest debt can affect your ability to pay your bills and save for your long-term goals, including retirement. Paying it off is one of the few goals worth prioritizing over your retirement savings because otherwise, you could lose more in interest charges each year than you're gaining from your retirement investments.

How you pay this debt off will depend on how much you have and what kind it is. Balance transfer cards can help you pay down credit card debt, and personal loans can help with credit card or payday-loan debt. 

If you're carrying either of these things into 2023, focus on debt repayment before you place any money into your 401(k). Consider cutting back your spending in other areas, if possible, to make this easier. Then, when you've paid it all off, you can decide whether to use your 401(k) or another retirement account to house your long-term savings.

Don't be afraid to adapt your savings strategy as the year goes on. If you get a new job or something changes with your 401(k), that may affect its usefulness for you.

Feel free to switch to a different retirement account if you find one that can serve you better. Just keep track of how much you've contributed to each retirement account in 2023 so you don't exceed the annual contribution limits and incur penalties.