Financial Tips: Stay Ahead of the Game

It seems like every day you are squeezed for more taxes, higher gas prices and soaring food costs. Take some time to step back and re-adjust your scenario by following some or all of these 7 financial tips so you could avoid falling prey to the sharp teeth of this merciless economy.

1. Move Forward
Let go of any past mistakes or blaming of your financial woes. Stop comparing yourself to those who seem more fortunate. Stop waiting for a windfall to get you out of your hole. The rest of these tips will be useless unless you begin with a realistic, practical and positive outlook.

2. Assess
Lay all your cards on the table. This means printing out every financial document that has to do with what you owe and what you have. Experience a tangible, organized, and laid out plan right in front of your eyes.

3. Credit Cards
Consolidate your credit cards into one bill. If you are eligible, transfer your cards to a six month or one year zero percent interest offer and NEVER use this card for anything and do everything in your power to pay that card off. If your credit is shot, then stop using your card(s) and pay on time, the minimum due, while throwing in a little extra whenever you can.

4. Stop Spending
If you need more scratch then stop spending your hard earned money on crap. If you tally up what you spend on designer coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, restaurant dinners and lunches you will find a whole lot of cash that you can save. Make your lunch for work, eat in more nights, quit smoking, rent movies, etc.

5. Make Your Cash Work
Sock away your money in several different savings plans.
• A savings account for basic needs
• A rainy day or holiday savings account
• A savings account that gets more of a percentage return than a regular savings account like a CD.
The rest of your money, no matter how small the amount, should be invested with the assumption that you will not be able to touch it for at least 7 years. An IRA, 401K, 529B (for child education) should all be considered.

6. Educate
Know as much as you can about how to invest your money. Know your credit score so you can determine how to repair it if needed. Peruse some basic money magazines or T.V. programs that give sound advice. Talk to whoever you can that seems to be doing it right.

7. Do Not Dream
Dreams are great but when it comes to money, reality works better. Do not get involved in ‘get rich quick’ schemes because chances are if it is too good to be true. it probably is.

These 7 financial tips are a good start to getting your money on track. Although it may seem like a difficult undertaking, gaining fiscal control will empower and humble you all at once. Then, once you are on your feet, you’ll be able to spend money on beer, pizza and hookers once again.


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