If you have been hanging around at this Personal Finance Blog very long, you may remember my 2009 Top 10 Personal Finance Tips posted in Jan. of last year.
Personally, I thought that was one of my finest posts (if I do say so myself). But alas, I only received 18 comments…not nearly as many as the 65 comments that have been exchanged on the Quicken Loans post.
Anyways, here are my thoughts for 2010, in no particular order:
1.) Save as much of your income as you UNCOMFORTABLY can! I know this seem like an impossible and crazy goal, but I took some time last week to plug some family budget numbers for my team of 5, and surpisingly, it appears that if we made some marginal sacrifices, we could save ALOT more money every month than we currently do. Now I haven’t discussed it with my wife yet, but I believe she will be on board, and that it makes sense to hunker down and become “uncomfortable savers”. No doubt, we will thank our “younger” selves in the future!
2.) Place a bet on US stocks. I believe that over the next 20 years, investing in strong US based companies is going to provide significantly better financial returns than CD’s or Money Market accounts. Make it a point this year to talk to your financial advisor or stock broker about some potential investment opportunities.
3.) Study IRS tax laws! I feel like a significant path to wealth is to be wise and strategic with your money. One step in the right direction in 2010 will be to actually do TAX PLANNING. Hire a good CPA and really invest your time into understanding your options within the US tax systems, then take the steps necessary to take advantage of every tax deduction or credit that you are legally entitled to…the IRS is not going to do it for you! If you don’t educate yourself, and take advantage of good things like Electric Vehicle Tax Credits, or Energy Efficiency tax savings, no one is to blame but yourself!
4.) Work Harder! This one is a carryover from 2009, but is still a timeless truth! Times are STILL tough and many great people are losing their jobs. My suggestion to you is to work that much harder at whatever it is you do to bring home the bacon. Become the “we cannot lose, period” employee at your job. This is often thankless extra effort, but it is worth it in the long run. I believe great effort is always richly rewarded over the long haul!
5.) Strive to become debt free! Easy advice, enough said! Too many people WAY smarter than me have preached on the debt topic!
6.) Be Generous and Be Thankful! Life is a gift, and is way too short to not take full advantage of it!
7.) “Have fun, love people, and drink great coffee!”
HERE IS TO A HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2010! -TAM