Some ideas for improving personal finances this year

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By Barbara O’Neill

Looking for ideas to improve your personal finances during 2017? It’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution.

Consider the following eight suggestions that cover different aspects of personal finance such as saving, investing, managing credit, reducing expenses, and earning income.

º Commit to Saving Regularly — Small amounts of savings add up. If someone saves $50 per week ($2,600 annually) at ages 25, 35, 45, and 55, he or she will have $431,490, $217,645, $100,109, and $35,507, respectively, at age 65 assuming a 6 percent average annual return. Pay yourself first.

Before paying bills and other financial obligations, set aside an affordable amount each month in accounts designated for long-range goals and unexpected emergencies. Consider doing a savings challenge to follow a schedule of regular deposits: http://articles.extension.org/pages/73884/monthly-investment-message:-july-2016.

º Take Advantage of Tax-Deferred Investments — Available options include individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and tax-deferred employer retirement plans such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and Section 457 plans.

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