30 Steps to Financial Health

Web site provides tips, online quizzes and tools to help you improve your financial situation.

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Frugality has become a lifestyle. Millions of people in retirement are choosing it today; millions more have always had to live this way. Whether by choice or necessity, living a more austere life requires sound planning skills and real discipline. It's not easy and they don't give out Academy Awards for Cheap. Even to Baby Boomers.

The financial industry does, however, shower us with inducements and apparent rewards for financial over-indulgence. This helps explain why President Obama dressed down the credit card companies last week. And why many of us are forced into debt consolidation and counseling programs. And, lastly, why seniors in particular continue to be stalked by financial predators. Here are 30 daily tips to improve your understanding of the world of personal finance, courtesy of Money Management International, a credit-counseling agency. April is Financial Literacy Month (no wisecracks, please) and the tips are presented on a special web site set up to provide a daily dose of self-improvement during the month. If you go through the 30 steps and take them to heart, you will know a lot more about your finances and yourself, and you will be better prepared to face what continues to be a challenging and uncertain future. Start at the beginning or pick a topic that interests you:

  1. Commitment to change
  2. Assess your financial situation
  3. Clearing out financial clutter
  4. Set yourself up for success
  5. Get copies of your credit reports
  6. Clean up your credit report
  7. Make your money count
  8. Identify your starting point
  9. Do You Pass The Debt Test?
  10. Set your priorities
  11. Set SMART financial goals
  12. Set short-, mid-, and long-term goals
  13. Paying down debt is a smart financial move
  14. Expect the unexpected
  15. Securing your financial future
  16. Make a commitment
  17. Save for your goals
  18. Where does all the money go?
  19. Identify and document your fixed monthly expenses
  20. Identify and plan for periodics
  21. Document your spending
  22. Identify ways to reduce spending
  23. Save money on groceries
  24. Share a tip for change
  25. Document your desired spending
  26. Protect yourself by performing financial check-ups
  27. Understand the cost of credit
  28. Assemble a financial team
  29. Appreciate the benefits
  30. Moving forward