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Experts Offer Personal Financial Advice

Over the years, you’ve received plenty of advice on how to make the most of your money — pay yourself first, invest for the long-term, shop smart — but what recommendations are most important to follow? Kim Molitor, Relationship Manager at Windward Wealth Strategies, weighs in on personal finance tactics she uses in the January edition of Women Magazine.

  • I try to plan my meals for the week each Sunday. This helps me avoid having to eat out unnecessarily at restaurants or running through the fast food drive-thru after kid sport practices and games.
  • I always have a frozen lunch or soup on hand at work to avoid needing to go out to lunch when unnecessary.
  • I love Starbucks chai tea in the morning. I try to keep the daily $5 latte factor in check by buying chai tea and mixing my own at the office.
  • Before the change of a season, I go through my closet and drawers and take mental inventory. For example, I might find I own four black turtlenecks and one white. The next time I am shopping, I will not be tempted on impulse to buy a turtleneck of every color because of a clearance sale. Instead, I will stick to buying the color I truly need. The “ooh aah” purchases can quickly add up and cost too much for little value.
  • I only buy clothes that can be laundered at home. I do not like to spend money on dry cleaning so I’ll only buy clothing items that I can launder myself.
  • Nearly all of my investments are made from automatic contributions that are either deducted from my paycheck or my checking account. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I am automatically contributing to a house fund, emergency savings account, education fund or travel fund.
  • I know that I am putting away the maximum allowable contribution to my retirement plan at work. I understand my plan’s fund offerings and review my statement annually. I take great comfort in knowing that when I retire I will have money to support myself. If I ever feel down about not saving money, I remind myself that I have my retirement account building in value, not social security, and not an outside program to take care of me in retirement.
  • I have always paid close attention to interest rates on mortgages, vehicles and credit cards. I have refinanced my home while shortening the length of
    my mortgage. I will only finance a vehicle if the rate is super low and I watch and take advantage of credit cards with low interest rates and rewards programs.
  • I know where all my money is! I could list on a piece of paper today all my assets and liabilities. This includes my investments, bank accounts, mortgages and credit card debt. I have a filing system in place and could find my pension information from old employers or my insurance policies. By being well organized with my finances, I know the truth and do not need to guess at my financial situation. I don’t ever want to be caught in a “woulda, coulda, shoulda” situation.

See the full article here.