NEW YORK (WABC) --It's a new year, which means a new chance at saving and growing your wealth.
Many investors may be feeling more confident with the new Trump administration, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished above 20,000 for the first time Wednesday.
But what will the successes on Wall Street mean for your family? 7 On Your Side has a list of don'ts when it comes to your personal finance.
1. Don't forget to file your taxes - April 15 comes fast, and you don't want to pay needless interest and penalties for filing late or missing deadlines.
2. Don't ignore account statements - Over the past decade, many people have stopped looking at their account statements. But don't be afraid. Othersie, how do you know what's appropriate, inappropriate, making you money or losing you money? The biggest tip is to get educated about your investments.
3. Don't skip yourself - Studies show the biggest regrets retirees have are not saving enough and not starting their savings soon enough. The longer you do it, the greater your chances of success. Compounded interest is your friend, so use it.
4. Don't buy what you can't afford - Yes, there is such a thing as good debt. But not when it's charging you 19 percent interest. Those credit cards aren't your friend, unless you can pay them off every month. If the average person spends 34 percent of their paychecks on interest, and they earn $50,000 a year for 20 years, that's giving away $340,000 to someone other than yourself.
5. Don't forgo tax free assets - There's nothing better than tax free. Based purely on math and nothing else, income taxes will be higher in the future, as will inflation. Paying tax on the seed and getting the harvest for free make much more sense when we don't know how bad the tax will be in the future. That means contributing to your 401(k) or opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You can contribute up to $18,000 annually. In addition to saving for your retirement, it lowers your taxes in the short term. And speaking of a 401(k)...
6. Don't Use Your 401(k) as a piggy bank - It's a horrible idea all around. You deplete your retirement savings, set yourself up for paying tax on your retirement money twice, and, if you mess it up, you'll pay big penalties too.
7. Don't fly by the seat of your pants - Not having a plan will only lead to failure. You wouldn't drive cross country without a map or GPS.
8. One bonus tip - Keep at least three months savings in a rainy day emergency fund. That way, you will be positioned to shoulder financial hardships should your circumstances change.