Are you in Good Hands?
Call 866-501-4511
Are you in Good Hands?


Sometimes, money does come out of the blue. It might come from your yearly tax refund, a work bonus or even a lucky lottery ticket. But before you splurge, follow these steps to line up some lasting benefits from your financial good fortune.

1. Debt Comes First Make a list of all your outstanding debt—credit cards, car loans, student loans, a mortgage—and their interest rates. Put your extra funds toward paying down debts with high interest rates first. Look at anything in the APR range of 10% to 29%. Fixed-interest debt with a rate of 6% or under is not as pressing.

Did You Know?

39% of Americans—nearly two in five—carry credit-card debt from month to month.

2. Save for a Rainy Day Unexpected events can mess with even the most solid budgets. Put your extra money into an emergency fund. Try to have six months of living expenses on hand.

3. Maximize Your Savings If you haven’t reached the contribution limit on your 401(k), then consider raising your contribution percentage, if permitted by your employer’s plan. You won’t be able to deposit a tax refund directly into your plan, but you can use it to cover the shortfall in your paycheck caused by your increased 401(k) contributions. Depending on your income and circumstances, you may be able to also invest in an IRA. You’ll get tax savings this year, and your money will keep working for you until you’re ready to retire.

4. Consider the Kids It’s never too early—or too late—to start saving for your kid’s education. A 529 college savings plan lets you set aside savings that may grow tax-deferred. If a significant amount of money comes your way, take advantage of the ability to make a one-time accelerated contribution.

5. Go Crazy! If you’ve met your financial goals, go ahead and have some fun. Maybe it’s a long-overdue vacation or lusted-after laptop? After all, budgeting is just like dieting. The occasional indulgence may actually help you stick to your overall plan.