Ten for 2010: Ten Ways to Make 2010 a Stellar Financial Year

Posted on 01/08/2010

Most of us can admit that 2009 was not the best year for our finances. Lots of us lost jobs, lost homes and lost money in the stock market. But it’s a new year which means new possibilities. Here are ten ways to make 2010 a stellar financial year.

Learn From Past Mistakes - Chances are there are some things you wish you would have done differently in 2009. Now is your opportunity. Learn from those past mistakes and commit to doing things differently because, like the saying goes, if you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always got.

Find a Financial Mentor - Financial experts say your income is typically the average of your five closest friends. Consider how your circle of influence is affecting your finances. Find someone you trust who can be your financial mentor. Consider friends, business colleagues or members at your church. Is there someone you look up to financially? Form a relationship with them to give you a new perspective on your financial situation for the New Year.

Cut Impulse Buys - If you took the time to add up all the money you spent on impulse buys in 2009 you’d probably be shocked. Avoid the urge to spend by setting a goal and focusing on that. Whether your goal is saving for a cruise or paying off a car loan, looking at the bigger picture will help you cut back spending on the small stuff.

Earn Extra Income - No matter what you earn chances are you’d like it to be higher. Pinpoint ways for bringing in extra income throughout the year. Is there a hobby that could generate cash? Perhaps you can make advertising income by starting a blog? There are lots of ways you can bring in extra money and when you do, pledge to putting those funds towards an important goal like paying off debt or saving for retirement.

Make a Budget - Did you have a budget for 2009? If your answer is yes, simply revise and review it. If you didn’t, create one for 2010. Use a free budget worksheet like this one. It will help you organize your income and expenses.

Stick to Your Budget - Now that you have a budget commit to sticking to it in 2010. Leave yourself a small amount of wiggle room so you don’t get discouraged, but aim at your targets each month and stay on track.

Examine Your Free Credit Report - You’re entitled to a free credit report every 12 months. Take some time to look over yours in 2010 by heading to AnnualCreditReport.com. This is one of the best ways to fight identity theft and keep tabs on your credit score.

Review Insurance Policies - Insurance isn’t cheap. And you may be paying too much for yours. Although it’s probably not a task most would consider enjoyable, reviewing your insurance policies is another way to make sure 2010 is a stellar financial year. You may discover that you are able to save money by switching insurance carriers or changing your coverage. That’s money that could go toward paying off debt or saving for retirement.

Don’t Use Credit - Give yourself a plasectomy by removing all of the plastic in your wallet. Make 2010 the year of paper. Start using cash and stop paying with credit.

Pay Off Debt - Rather than racking up bigger bills, use 2010 to pay them off. Just think—a year from now you’ll be so glad you did.

By Alison Storm

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