As we head into the final stretch of 2022, December inevitably becomes a time when we start to think about fresh starts and the beginning of a new year. If financial wellness is one of your New Year’s Resolutions, there are several money moves you can make in December to set yourself up for success in 2023.
Consider these 6 ways to make your money go further this year and beyond.
1. Maximize Your Charitable Giving through “Bunching”
Nonprofits do invaluable work around the world, and there are ways to help the causes you care about in a way that also makes sense for your finances. One of those ways is through charitable gifting and “bunching.” The bunching strategy is when you make multiple years’ worth of contributions in one year to maximize deductions in a high-tax year. It allows you to itemize beyond the standard deduction in the year you bunch all your giving, and take the standard deduction in the “off-years.”
This can also be an impactful strategy for donors experiencing a high-income year or preparing for retirement, since you can maximize your tax benefits when you need it while creating a ready reserve to support charities over time.
2. Multiply Your Charitable Giving through an Employer Match
Do you work for a company that offers a match for charitable contributions? It is easy to find out! Charity Navigator offers a search tool on their website to find out if your employer offers a charitable match. The match likely has an annual limit. Be sure to keep proof of your gift, which may require providing contact information for a receipt.
If you need a record of your Hoboken Grace giving, just email us.
3. Max Out Your Tax Advantaged Account Contributions
Contributing to tax-advantaged accounts, such as a 401(k), 403(b), HSA, and 529 college savings plan, can reduce your current year’s taxable income. Take the time to check your accounts and see if you are approaching your annual contribution limits. If there is room in your budget, schedule an additional contribution to max out the full benefit for the year.
401(k) / 403(b) Contribution Limits
For 2022, your individual contribution limit is $20,500, or $27,000 if you’re age 50 or older.
HSA Contribution Limits
Maximum contribution amounts for 2022 are $3,650 for self-only and $7,300 for families. The annual “catch-up” contribution amount for individuals age 55 or older is $1,000.
529 Contribution Limits
529 plans do not have annual contribution limits. However, contributions to a 529 plan are considered completed gifts for federal tax purposes, and in 2022 up to $16,000 per donor, per beneficiary qualifies for the annual gift tax exclusion.
IRA Contribution Limits (taxable)
For 2022, the total contributions you make each year to all of your traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs cannot be more than $6,000 ($7,000 if you're age 50 or older), or if less, your taxable compensation for the year.
4. Utilize Your Remaining FSA Funds
Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) are a tax-free way to way to pay for medical-related expenses throughout the year. The maximum contribution to an FSA account in 2022 is $2,850, with a carryover limit of $570. Unlike Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which rollover their savings year to year, FSA funds are “use it or lose it.” You typically have until the end of the calendar year to use any remaining funds.
There are many things you can buy with your leftover FSA dollars. Some surprising items that are FSA eligible include:
Ancestry kits with health reports
Air quality products, including air purifiers and air filters
Acupuncture and chiropractic procedures
Note that some employers offer a brief rollover period for FSA funds. Check with your FSA administrator for your FSA fund’s expiration dates.
5. Apply for Property Tax Relief (Available to Eligible New Jersey Residents)
The Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) program provides property tax relief to New Jersey residents who owned or rented their principal residence (main home) on October 1, 2019, and met the income limits outlined below.
Who is Eligible and What is the Benefit?
Homeowners with income of $150,000 or less will receive $1,500.
Homeowners with income of more than $150,000 and up to $250,000 will receive $1,000.
Renters with income of $150,000 or less will receive $450.
All payments will be issued as checks or direct deposits beginning late Spring 2023.
How do I apply?
Homeowners can file online by visiting the NJ Division of Taxation website or file by phone at
1-877-658-2972. Renters must file online.
*Filing deadline is January 31, 2023.
6. Prepare for Upcoming 2023 Tax Changes
The IRS recently announced changes to tax year 2023’s standard deductions and tax brackets.
Changes to the Standard Deduction
The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly for tax year 2023 rises to $27,700, up $1,800 from the prior year. For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $13,850 for 2023, up $900; and for heads of households, the standard deduction will be $20,800, up $1,400.
Marginal Rates: For tax year 2023, the top tax rate remains 37% for individual single taxpayers with incomes greater than $578,125 ($693,750 for married couples filing jointly).
The other rates are:
35% for incomes over $231,250 ($462,500 for married couples filing jointly)
32% for incomes over $182,100 ($364,200 for married couples filing jointly)
24% for incomes over $95,375 ($190,750 for married couples filing jointly)
22% for incomes over $44,725 ($89,450 for married couples filing jointly)
12% for incomes over $11,000 ($22,000 for married couples filing jointly)
The lowest rate is 10% for single individuals with incomes of $11,000 or less ($22,000 for married couples filing jointly).
**Not sure how these tax changes will impact you? **
See our earlier article on How to Calculate and Adjust Your Withholdings here.
No matter which tax bracket you fall into, it’s important to have a plan in place. If you feel like you could use a little extra help, consider scheduling a free 30-minute FinHealthy Check Up here. Your money is hard-earned and you should make the most of it!