September 28, 2023


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5 money moves to make now to ensure financial success in the new year

5 money moves to make now to ensure financial success in the new year

Sharon Epperson's money moves to make heading into 2023

The end of the year is an important time for making financial decisions that can have an impact in the year ahead — and for years to come.

From your work to your savings and investments to spending and giving back, here are five moves you should consider making before Dec. 31 that can help to prepare you for financial success in 2023:   

1. Make sure you didn’t pay too little tax on 2022 income

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You don’t want to wind up paying interest and penalties or a big tax bill next year because you didn’t have enough tax taken out of your pay this year. Even if you were laid off recently, it’s important to double-check so you don’t get an unexpected tax hit. And, if you’re retired, make sure you paid the appropriate tax on your retirement withdrawals. 

The IRS says one way to see if you’re on track to pay the right amount of income tax is to pay the same amount as you did in 2021 or, for higher-income taxpayers, maybe a little more. Keep in mind that even if you got a tax refund last year, with no stimulus payment for 2022 and a less generous deduction for charitable gifts, you may receive a smaller refund in 2023.

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You can also do a “paycheck checkup” by going to the Tax Withholding Estimator on the IRS’ website to review the amount of tax withheld from your pay. You may have time to make a change to your withholding for the last pay period of the year by submitting a new W-4 form to your employer. If it’s too late to make a withholding fix that way or if you’re self-employed, you can send an estimated tax payment directly to the IRS. The deadline for fourth-quarter payments is Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. 

2. Increase your 401(k) plan contributions

A 401(k) retirement savings plan is one of the most highly sought-after workplace benefits. You can contribute up to $20,500 to a 401(k) plan in 2022 — or up to $27,000 if you’re 50 or older. 

If you can’t afford to contribute the maximum amount to your 401(k), many financial advisors say to put in at least enough money to get your employer’s matching contribution, if it’s offered. That’s free money! 

Boosting contributions to a traditional 401(k) plan can lower your adjusted gross income while padding your retirement savings. But with only one pay period left for 2022, you should make contribution changes immediately. 

3. Boost your emergency savings

4. Plan how you’ll spend before you buy

Strategies to save more and spend less

Be wary of store credit cards. The average retail store-only credit card charges over 28% interest, according to

Also, be careful if using buy now, pay later products, a popular option for online shopping at many retailers. While you can spread out payments for purchases with no interest, buy now, pay later loans aren’t subject to the same regulations that apply to credit or debit cards. There are fewer purchase protections, too, including the ability to dispute a charge if you bought a good or service that wasn’t delivered as promised. 

5. Consider how you’ll contribute to charity this year and next