Rick Munster Profile Picture
Staff Writer at Debt Reduction Services

Sometimes the little things really do add up and if you follow these ten steps you may find a wealthier and money smart you is right around the corner. Following these steps may help you achieve less stress and better health.

Try these ten rules to live by in 2011:

1.       Live with less wants and focus on your needs. You may want the newest gadget now, but waiting and resisting the temptation to splurge might help you avoid spending your hard earned money on a fad that you may have little interest in later.

2.       Put the plastic down. By not charging to your credit cards you can avoid unnecessary interest fees or other potential charges that by using a cash only method you can avoid altogether. A credit card, when broken down to it’s basic form, really is just another loan that is designed to make money off of your spending while being masked as ‘convenience’.

3.       Use coupons this year. Excellent deals can be found in online or print coupons to those willing to take some time to look for them. Every penny counts!

4.       Save first, spend later. Get yourself into the habit of saving 5 to 10 percent of your income each month. Make it your goal to not touch it. Consider it out of sight, out of mind. Add to the percentage you are saving as you find additional income. By the end of the year you will be in a better position than you were before you started saving.

5.       Pay off your debt as soon as possible. The quicker you buckle down and take care of your debt the quicker you can use that money for saving and investing back into yourself.

6.       Clean up your loose change. Invest in a change counter and watch your pennies add up. (We picked up our electronic piggy bank for less than $10.00 and have already saved more than double that amount.) This is a simple way to experience a sense of accomplishment.

7.      Dine at home. Fast food may seem convenient and affordable, but it can end up breaking the bank quickly, not to mention assist in packing on the pounds fast. Make a meal plan at home and buy in bulk if possible. The benefit from following this rule can increase your savings while trimming your waist, consider it an added benefit.

8.       Consider traveling close to home for your vacation this year. Who knows, your favorite destinations might closer than you thought.

9.       Instead of going out for a movie and spending up to $20.00 a ticket in some areas make your own date night at home. Pick up a rental, pop some popcorn, and enjoy Hollywood from the comfort of your own living room.

10.   Second hand doesn’t equal second class. Take a peek at your local thrift stores, you just might find they have exactly what you are looking for at a fraction of the price you would pay if you were to buy brand new. (I enjoy reading and purchase all of my hardcover books for a dollar or less at local thrift shops.)

Not everything on this list is easy to do, however, you may find yourself handsomely rewarded for your efforts. Give this list your best shot. You may see improvements in a vast number of areas such as financial, health, relationships and more.

Good luck and may you find prosperity during the New Year!

  1. John Williams

    I am a fan of reducing debt with unexpected funds. Too often, those burdened by debt receive unexpected money and squander it because they didn’t expect to get it. The obvious greater benefit to them would have been to apply it to debt. The recessions has helped highlight the risks associated with carrying debt in a light that most banks and lending institutions would prefer to have kept in the shadows.

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