Financial planning: Why it's critical to start saving now

Current financial decisions have major affect on future

DETROIT – The financial decisions you make today can greatly affect the future, from your holiday budget to your taxes.

Experts say right now is the perfect time to take a look at where you are financially to help make plans for the future.

Most experts believe you should do so a few times in the year -- in the spring and fall. While you're busy getting children ready to go back to school, take some time and learn these financial lessons.

Your money can either work for you or against you, experts say.

Financial expert Kirk Cassidy joined Local 4 Consumer Expert Hank Winchester to talk about making the right moves now to prepare for the future.

You can hear Cassidy's comments in the video above.

First, learn how to handle the market and uncertain financial times.

Saving is obviously key to preparing for the future. How much to save depends on where you are in life.

It might seem far off, but it's also a good time to start thinking about taxes. Make sure you're keeping all important tax-related documents together, and work on a monthly log so you're prepared when it's time to file.

Also, take a look at your withholdings. They affect your take-home pay and taxes.

For those into or approaching retirement, it's important to do regular financial reviews. Understand where you are now and your goals for the future to stay on track.

Do a financial review on yourself and think about holiday budgets, putting money aside for purchases and determining how much you will spend on each person. Write it down and stick to the plan. Start shopping online in November when some big deals might be rolling out.

Credit cards aren't always bad, but credit card debt is another story. If you're able to make the monthly payment, credit cards can be useful in racking up points and loyalty rewards. Make sure to set limits and avoid overspending.

You can watch Hank Winchester's full story in the video posted above.

About the Authors: