New Year, New Money Consumption Diet

1.  Start spending less on your credit cards
Credit cards are expensive if you don’t pay them off every month (vs.using them as an additional sources of income – whether its a reward program with miles or cash back etc.).   Many credit cards carry annual fees, and also have high APR rates.   Knock down your debt and stay as focused on your wallet as you are on your diet in these early months of the year and get a head start on saving for your summer goals.  There are quite a few good apps out there to help you manage your spending, and even some that help with  categorizing how you spend your hard earned cash, so take control and manage your wallet more.

2.  Keep up with your retirement savings
I talked earlier this month about how women need to save more for retirement than men, due to a multitude of reasons.   Be sure to invest in your retirement plans frequently – and when possible, max out your contributions.   Make smart investment decisions.  There are many companies toll help you understand what funds work best with your retirement strategy, and allow you to get the most from your money at a level of risk that is acceptable for your life goals.

3.  Tap into online resources to keep you straight
If you feel disorganized with your money, there are plenty of places to go for added help.   A few good sources that I am familiar with include Yodlee’s Money Center (a free service to organize your finances in one place);  LearnVest (a site for women to manage finances – that includes training programs to help give you the kick start that you need); and even Mint.com (another aggregated service that allows you to view your finances in one place).  If you need more help, contact a financial professional to walk you through your options.

4.  Find a Meet Up
Meeting with other women in your area can bring insight, confidence and extra tips on how to manage your money the way that is right for you.  Plus, you get to hang with other fun women. Consider looking for money investment groups, or mommy clubs or even clubs that help with savings (like a mommy coupon club).

And with every diet … don’t forget that every time we fall off, we just need to get back on again!

Reference Website links: www.yodlee.com,   www.learnvest.com, www.mint.com

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