Control Your Finances In 2008

Get Rich Slowly offers a mostly-common-sense-but-still-informative article for making the most of your money in the new year.

Of the tips offered, I would emphasize maxing out your Retirement Savings now. As in right now. As in a tomorrow morning trip to HR. The sooner you start saving, the exponential advantage you’ll have in creating your (ideally at least) million dollar nest egg. Don’t think you can just “save a little now and put away more later”, ’cause brother, you’re in for a shock. And if your company offers matching contributions — otherwise known as free G.D. money — say “Yes, please.”

Along similar lines, the Automate Your Finances section says it best: “When you make things automatic, you remove the human element, making it more difficult for you to mess things up.

If you’re able, keep enough money in your checking account to pay utilities automatically online. Save the hassle, the time and the stamps (money). Also, this helps you to avoid making late payments, which by default will help your credit.

And save automatically as well! Just about every bank now has a web site to help you manage your money. Set up automatic transfers to move $50, $100, or whatever amount you can afford into your Savings Account or (preferably) Money Market account every month. Pay yourself first. Save without thinking. Enjoy the wonders of compound interest.

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