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Follow 10 keys for financial success

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By Kaye Kasza

CSU Extension Agent

The 'fiscal cliff" has been big news lately as our legislators struggled with fiscal policy decisions. Did all the discussions make you think about the fiscal policies of your family? Extension Agent Kaye Kasza suggests following these 10 keys to improve your financial health.

1. Spend less than you earn. Make a spending plan, and then track your income and spending to stay on target.

2. Have a plan. Get organized, write down your financial goals, and monitor your progress toward your goals. If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up somewhere else.

3. Prepare for expected events like retirement, vacations, college.

4. Prepare for unexpected events including emergencies, job loss, or car repairs.

5. Always know your interest rates. Shop for the lowest interest rate and fees on loans and credit cards. Always pay by the payment deadlines to avoid late fees and rate increases.

6. Keep a healthy credit report. Receive a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. Colorado residents can get six free credit reports each year, two from each of the three major credit bureaus.

7. Avoid waste. Eat at home, clip coupons, return purchases you won't use.

8. Take advantage of tax breaks, for example, earned income credit.

9. Fill in the financial gaps through garage sales, ebay, recycling, selling excess produce at a farmers market, house cleaning, etc.

10. Give back to your community with your time, your talents or your money.

Date: 1/28/2013



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