Ten Simple Money Moves for 2010

December 31, 2009

1) Budget

Make a personal budget and stick to it. Track your spending for two weeks to find out what your true expenses are as well as your monthly and yearly expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, car insurance and payments, taxes, groceries, clothing, entertainment, and child care costs.

2) Set Financial Goals

Think long and hard about your financial goals. Do you need to save for a child’s college education? Pay off student loans? Buy a home? Would you like to decrease your debt? Increase your retirement savings? Figure out what your most important financial goals are.

3) Learn Your Financial Habits

Pay attention to your financial habits and think of ways to overcome habits that are costing you too much. Do you buy yourself treats when you’re feeling bad? Do you spend money to reward yourself?

4) Charge Less

Cut back on credit cards. Scale back to no more than two major credit cards, maybe one Visa and one American Express. Cancel accounts that don’t offer competitive interest rates or that offer perks you don’t need. If you’re really having a hard time charging too much, get rid of them all.

5) Lower Your Interest Rate

Call your credit card companies and ask for a lower interest rate. It’s harder than it used to be with the new credit card regulations but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  You can also try consolidating your credit card debt at a lower rate.

6) Avoid Late Fees

Setup your bills to pay automatically with online bill pay from your bank or with a full service option like Paytrust. Automating your bills not only saves you time, it can save on late fees.

7) Pay Less Each Month

Shop around for the best telephone, TV, and cell phone rates and programs.

8 ) Brown Bag It

Cut back on the number of times you eat out each week. Bring your lunch to work.

9) Avoid Impulse Buys

If you see something you “have to have,” wait 24 hours before buying it. You may find out that you don’t really have to have it after all. Or, avoid shopping altogether. Find other activities that you enjoy that don’t include retail stores.

10) Discuss Money

Talk openly about finances with your family. Talk about your financial goals and come up with ideas together about how you can reduce expenses and increase savings.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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7 Responses to Ten Simple Money Moves for 2010

  • Darik

    Well, you’ll have to have 2 months rent upfront, a security deposit, and have at least a few months rent put away for emergencies. You’ll also need to pay for things once you get into your place and for activations & deposits for your utilities. Figure $100 to activate your cable and possibly as much for your phone.

  • Daddy Paul

    “Shop around for the best telephone, TV, and cell phone rates and programs. ”
    Great idea my wife saved money just calling the phone company.

  • TheMoneyMan-Leo

    Good advice.

    Be aware of something important with calling credit card companies to ask for a lower rate. I’ve given that advice for a long time but have started hearing reports of people getting their accounts closed down.

    I guess it’s a case of “poking the bear”. Unfortunately there is no way to tell if that is likely to happen to you.

  • Craig

    Budgeting is always a smart move, but more importantly just taking a hold of your finances and planning better. Budgeting means something to everyone else. I’m going to work on saving more.


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