1. Just say NO - no new consumer debt. Create a detailed family "needs"
and "wants" list for the year ahead.
2. Know when to reward yourself, but set the rules up to win. PLAN your spending as much as your savings.
3. Be smart about your rewards cards and read the fine print. Are you paying more in annual fees than your rewards are worth?
4. Spend less and save more. Start a RRSP or monthly forced savings now. Or, increase your mortgage payment by $50 a month.
5. Track your spending twice a year for a month with a friend and analyze each other's spending. Reserve judgment but offer and be open to constructive feedback.
6. Start a money club. Meet quarterly and talk all things money - books, resources and more.
7. Set your family's financial goals and create visuals like goal thermometers and incentives for each family member sticking to and reaching their goals.
8. Vow to flex your financial self-esteem muscles - negotiate, ask for a discount, track deals
9. Do a complete financial audit once a year - review areas such as insurance, phone, cable, cell bills, credit card interest rates and annual fees, etc. and see where you can trim the fat
10. Get organized - know the facts and figures of YOUR financial situation (what did your RRSP portfolio return last year? when does your mortgage renew and what's your rate?)
Mary Berg cooks a make-ahead vegetarian chili with butternut squash and apples.
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