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Money Mondays: 5 Tips For Becoming A Personal Finance Champ

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It’s likely that you know the finances of our government are a complete mess, and a tax hike may be in your future. But even if you won’t be faced with a tax hike, don’t you think it’s about time you gained control of your finances once and for all? Getting a firm grip on your personal economy is a great resolution to make this year – so here are five tips to begin the process:

1. Organize Your Finances

The first thing to do is get yourself more organized. Put together a basic filing system for all monthly billing statements, credit card bills, investments, tax documents, and anything else relevant to your finances. This makes it much easier to research something if an issue arises.

2. Reduce Monthly Bills

Next, closely examine your monthly bills, and look for any hidden fees you may not have previously noticed on your billing statements. If you discover any, contact the provider to see if you can have them eliminated. Check competing providers to see if you can get a better rate for your cellphone, Internet, and cable TV needs, and consider bundling these services to save even more. If you sign up for a new service, try to avoid signing a contract, which will make it easier to switch in the future.

3. Save Money on Groceries

The average food bill for a typical American household is approximately $700 per month. However, you can save a money on groceries by clipping coupons and stocking up when you see an item on sale. You can also start creating a weekly menu, or at least a shopping list to prevent overbuying.

4. Refinance Your Mortgage

Mortgage rates are presently at an all-time low. 30-year fixed rates are around 3% and 15-year fixed rates are even less. Find out what your interest rate is and see if you can save by refinancing. Just be sure to do your research and enlist the services of a trusted, qualified mortgage professional.

5. Save More for Retirement

Start participating in your employer’s 401k program, and if you already are, increase your contribution percentage to the maximum amount allowed. When it comes to having money for retirement, you can never have enough. Social Security and Medicare just may not be there for you when you retire, so it’s important to save as much as you can.

Final Thoughts

Remember, nobody is going to manage your finances for you, so now is the time to start taking control. Start slowly if you’d like, and over time you’ll be handling your finances with ease and confidence. This can help set you up for life-long success.

What do you plan on doing to organize your finances this year?

Topics:

Investing Finance Taxes Lifestyle
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Anonymous
Anonymous

This year I'm trying to be better at budgeting. I'm in love with You Need A Budget (ynab.com) and their 4 Rules/methods help give a better perspective of how we use money.

I'm a huge fan of the rotating shopping list - I know what I need to get and exactly how much it will cost, week after week.

Carly Heitlinger
Carly Heitlinger

Personal finances is really that... personal. No one else is going to make sure you're saving money! It's up to YOU!

Put together a basic filing system for all monthly billing statements, credit card bills, investments, tax documents, and anything else relevant to your finances. | I definitely need to do this - I always end up creating piles of bills etc. to look at later and then by the time I get to them they are out of control and I'm really not looking forward to confronting them. Love this advice !

Rennie Otake
Rennie Otake

Love the idea! Basic, easy, and motivating.

401K is so important! Save for the future or pay taxes? I pick the future.

Reducing monthly bills has been a major project for me lately, and even small changes can have a big impact in the long run. One small change I've made lately was to cancel my gym membership (almost $150/month) in favor of working out at home. I already have a few workout DVDs -- combine that with all the free workouts on YouTube, my exercise bike, and long walks/hikes, I have enough at my disposal without having to pay for a gym membership.

Nicole Valentino
Nicole Valentino

I'm going to be better about watching where my money goes by using YNAB!

Great advice!

Great advice. Thanks for sharing!

Great stuff! I particularly like the "Save Money On Groceries" bit. People don't realize that they can save a great deal of money if they put in the work.


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