Money Kuel Category Expert: Joy Alford-Brand
Well readers, here we are again, at the start of a new year and STILL the pandemic surges around us.
As I research the usual information about New Year’s resolutions and the statistics on how long they last, I am reminded that personal finances are important. But, being healthy and safe is the most important thing. Having said that, I’m going to skip all the talk about how to make your resolutions stick and just update you on a few things that are going on that could affect your wallet in 2022.
“The tax credit expansion created by the American Rescue Plan doesn’t expire until 2026.”
The Good News:
First, the biggest news is the extension of the federal student loan coronavirus forbearance until 5/1/22. That is good news for people who are still trying to dig out from the loss of a job due to the pandemic. This means if you have federal student loan debt, you still have a reprieve on making your payment AND accumulating interest. I know that is a relief to a lot of folks out there.
Second, while the child tax credit payments are ending, you can still benefit from the $2000 tax credit in 2022. That means if you qualify for the tax credit for 2021, you either received the payments or you’ll see the tax credit when you file your taxes this year. If you qualify for the tax credit for 2022, you’ll still see the $2000 tax credit when you file your taxes in 2023. The tax credit expansion created by the American Rescue Plan doesn’t expire until 2026.
“As a bankruptcy attorney, I can tell you that bankruptcy filings are way down, too.”
Economic Rough Patch:
Third, everyone is hiring. Seriously, there are help-wanted signs everywhere I look. The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a report in November that shows unemployment numbers are trending down. I’m also astounded by the number of unfilled jobs I’m hearing about on the news pretty regularly. The long and short of it is that jobs are out there so even though we are still in a bit of an economic rough patch, I think things are more stable than you might think.
Fourth, unfortunately, inflation is probably here to stay for a little while. I’m sure that by now, this isn’t a surprise to any of you. However, the stock market did okay last year and that gives me hope that the economy isn’t doing too badly, overall. I’m no financial analyst but a strong stock market is usually an indicator that things are trending toward stability. As a bankruptcy attorney, I can tell you that bankruptcy filings are way down, too.
5 Financial Tips:
Finally, it appears that strides are being made in the treatment of COVID-19. I hope this is true and that we can get back to living a more normal existence very soon. Until then, here are a few financial tips to keep in mind as we head into the new year:
“We are all doing the best we can in the face of an unbelievable situation.”
- Forget resolutions, think small, achievable goals instead. It’s better to succeed at small goals than fail at sticking to a lofty resolution.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.There are more and more resources out there for people who need help with everything from budgeting and credit counseling to micro-investing. If you need help with creditors you can check out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at nfcc.org to find a free credit counselor near you.
- Check out my past articles on Kuel Life. I’ve written quite a few articles with lots of helpful information that you might be interested in. Those articles can be a great resource to help point you in the right direction on a number of different personal finance topics.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling financially. We are all doing the best we can in the face of an unbelievable situation. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and do the best you can. This, too, shall pass.
- Don’t forget to give thanks for what you do have. I know I have had quite a few moments of grateful reflection over the holiday season. I find peace in my gratitude practice and I hope you can, too.
I always try to stay positive and this article is no different. On balance, I think we are doing as well as can be expected, under the circumstances. I just hope you can hang in there, my friend. Try to stay positive, keep smiling, and looking to the future. It’s a new year and a new day!
About the Author:
Joy Alford-Brand is an author, public speaker and attorney. She graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in History from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio in 1994 and she received her Juris Doctor from Ohio State University College of Law in 1998. Her main area of practice is Bankruptcy. She is admitted in North Carolina where she lives and works. Joy founded newcashview.com in 2015 as a platform through which she could help others work toward financial freedom and peace of mind! For more information, check out newcashview.com.