Go ahead and hide money from yourself. Set up an automated savings account that sets aside money when you get paid. Think about – if you set aside $50 a paycheck (even with no interest), you’ll have an extra $1200. And who knows what life may bring 10 years down the road.

Set up a 401(k)

If you are young, look into a 401(k). It really isn’t that scary! Also, when you are younger, go ahead an max out your available contributions (with your employer matching them).

Record what you Spend

Documenting what you spend used to be difficult. You’d pull money out at the ATM, and then a week later it was gone. Now that we use our debit/credit cards on every purchase (even the $.99 ice cream cone), your bank will have a monthly statement of your purchases. According to VISA (and this was in 2007), men can lose over 3k a year in nominal purchases. Make sure you tally up your money. Small spending turns into big spending. At then end of a few months, add up the purchases you may not have needed. You’d be surprised what you could save.

Start to Get out of Debt

Getting out of debt is difficult, and our goal should not be to starve ourselves out of debt. We should make small, doable goals to get out of debt. For starters, just make sure that you are making the monthly minimums on your cards, avoid paying late fees, and try to pay the interest off. Repeat. Repeat. And Repeat. The debt will start to go away.

If you have had a major life change – getting out of college and doing your taxes for the first time, just got married, had a baby, had another baby, had yet another baby, a great financial planner can save you thousands – and the best part – financial planners normally do not cost too much because, well, they are financially minded.

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