Budget Checkup for the Federal Employee

Retirement Budget Checkup

budgetWe hope that our budgets will always show that our expenses are subordinate to our income.  Make sure that your budget includes paying yourself first (PYF), such as maximizing our TSP contributions or at least taking full advantage of your employers matching contribution. After we have taken care of all of our expenses, we may not always have monies left over.  Unanticipated expenses can present themselves at any time and they will and most financial professionals recommend having at least the equivalent of 3-6 months of income as savings for just this type of event.  It is critical that you pay yourself first, otherwise you distribute money everywhere else and neglect to protect your future security by including SAVINGS as a fixed expense.

There are some things we may overlook when doing a check-up to keep our finances on track.  Always remember to do the following as you map out your vision to Retire Well:

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Carefully check your bank accounts and bank statements ensuring the bank’s balance is aligned with what your records show.  It is amazing how much money consumers lose each year due to banking errors and other inconsistencies.  Banks do not always catch their errors.  You must be your own chief executive when it comes to safeguarding your money.

When you receive statements from your savings and investments, read them over carefully and check for error and omissions.

Employers are generally accurate with paystub information, but errors do happen.  Additionally, because the paystubs of federal and postal employees are so complex, even if your paystub is correct you may be spending THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you don’t have to in the form of overpriced FEGLI costs (search the internet for “FEGLI rate comparison” – you’d be surprised how much you can save).  Check your statements carefully each time you receive one.  Always keep the last statement of the year and compare it with your W-2.  If everything matches you can place it in a file to get ready to file your taxes. If there is a conflict, go to your Human Resources Office and ask for an amended and corrected W-2.

P.S.  Always Remember to Share What You Know.