Personal Finance: New Year, New Beginnings

For many, January brings a new list of resolutions. By the time the month is over, our resolve slowly fades away, along with the list. It's not that we don't wish to move forward, but perhaps these goals just overwhelmed us. Here's a short list of practical money management ideas to get this new year off to an excellent start.

Books

Already considered a contemporary personal finance classic, Suze Orman's The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom provides the knowledge of how to handle money, and the encouragement to break through barriers that may have held you back in the past.

By using Morningstar's time-tested strategies and sensible approach to money management laid out in 30-minute Money Solutions, you can learn how to manage financial tasks into doable goals, each of which can be accomplished in 30 minutes or less.

With Your Money or your Life, you can learn the principles of personal money management, with a practical understanding of credit, debt, investments and retirement.

Events

Looking for in-person presentations or discussions? Check out our upcoming Business, Law and Money events.

Websites

Looking to get started, but time is a short commodity for you? Try four goals in four weeks with these online tips:

Looking to go paperless? Mint.com offers a secure application for tracking and paying bills.

Annual Credit Report.com is the official site authorized by the federal government for you to obtain free credit reports. (You can purchase your credit score through these companies, but before you do, check the accuracy of your credit report, as that determines your score.)

Look into health and fitness program opportunities where you work? Check out the Chicago Park District Wellness programs. Have the sugar blues? The American Heart Association's Tips for Cutting Down on Sugar provide simple ways to begin removing these empty calories from your diet, contributing to your overall health.

Can you spare $20 a week? Start with a small amount and increase your contributions as you can afford it. Check out USA.gov Retirement for tips on how to begin and continue saving for retirement.

Do you have a surefire tip you'd like to share?

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