Get Paid What You're Worth and Spend Less Than You Earn.
Being underpaid even a thousand dollars a year can have a significant cumulative
effect over the course of your working life.
No matter how much or how little you're paid, you'll never get ahead if you spend more than you earn.
no.2 Stick to a Budget. It's not a four-letter word. How can you know where your money is going if you don't budget? How can you set spending and saving goals if you don't know where your money is going? You need a budget whether you make thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
no.3 Pay Off Credit Card Debt. Credit card debt is the number one obstacle to getting ahead financially. Those little pieces of plastic are so easy to use, and it's so easy to forget that it's real money we're dealing with when we whip them out to pay for a purchase, large or small.
no.4 Contribute to a Retirement Plan. If your employer has a 401(k) plan and you don't contribute to it, you're walking away from one of the best deals out there. Ask your employer if they have a 401(k) plan (or similar plan), and sign up today. If your employer doesn't offer a retirement plan, consider an IRA.
no.5 Have a Savings Plan. Resolve to set aside a minimum of 5% to 10% of your salary for savings BEFORE you start paying your bills. Better yet, have money automatically deducted from your paycheck and deposited into a separate account.
no.6Invest! If you're contributing to a retirement plan and a savings account and you can still manage to put some money into other investments, all the better.
no.7Maximize Your Employment Benefits. Employment benefits like a 401(k) plan, flexible spending accounts, medical and dental insurance, etc., are worth big bucks. Make sure you're maximizing yours and taking advantage of the ones that can save you money by reducing taxes or out-of-pocket expenses.
no.8 Review Your Insurance Coverages. Too many people are talked into paying too much for life and disability insurance. On the other hand, it's important that you have enough insurance to protect your dependents and your income in the case of death or disability.
no.9 Update Your Will. 70% of Americans don't have a will. If you have dependents, no matter how little or how much you own, you need a will. If your situation isn't too complicated you can even do your own with software like WillMaker from Nolo Press. Protect your loved ones. Write a will.
no.10 Keep Good Records. If you don't keep good records, you're probably not claiming all your allowable income tax deductions and credits. Set up a system now and use it all year. It's much easier than scrambling to find everything at tax time, only to miss items that might have saved you money.
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