Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Banking, Investments, Taxes

We've just reviewed your spending, retirement, insurance, and debt. Now let's move on to the second part of our financial checkup.

Evaluate your bank
Your financial life depends on money pumping in and out, in and out -- being efficiently delivered to all the right places. That, of course, is regulated by your cash flow organ: your bank account.

  • Add up your ATM charges to see how much that convenience has cost you over the past year. Then start using your checks and/or debit cards more often so you can line your pockets instead of the bank's.

  • If you're able to navigate the Web, consider turning to Internet banking. You can earn interest on your checking account, download transactions into Quicken or Microsoft Money, and save yourself some hassle. It also makes tracking your expenses and monitoring your budget infinitely easier.

Related links:

Explore your investments
Your portfolio is the reproductive system of your financial body. Is yours optimally positioned to multiply?

Related links:

Take on your taxes
Everyone has to do it, but it isn't very pleasant. Enough said.

  • Run a preliminary income tax return to see if additional deductions might reduce your tax bill (e.g., increase charitable contributions before December 31). And think of Foolanthropy while you're at it. If you find yourself on the delicate cusp between a lower tax bracket and a higher one, postpone your bonus/income to the next year to save on your tax bill. Remember: The cusp you save might be your own. Check out this article for more year-end tax-planning tips.

  • A lot of changes were made to the tax code this year. Investigate ways to make the tax cut work for you.

  • Up to $3,000 of a net capital loss can be used each year to offset ordinary income. Any net loss greater than $3,000 can be carried forward to the next year. If that applies to you, don't forget to use those losses this year to offset capital gains or income.

Related links:

As we conclude this checkup, we have two more things for you. No, not lollipops. A printable checklist to accompany this checkup and a list of discussion boards full of Fools confronting real-life, health-related issues. After all, you are your greatest investment.

Next: Printable Checklist »

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1146301, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 6/27/2017 10:01:00 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
Change down DOW 21385.3 -24.2 -0.1%
Change down S&P 500 2434.0 -5.1 -0.2%
Change down NASD 6223.4 -23.8 -0.4%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes