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4 Easy Steps To Your New Financial Future

Use the extra motivation that accompanies this time of year to make positive changes for your financial future by taking these four easy steps now:

1. INCREASE YOUR 401(K) CONTRIBUTION Auto enroll in your employer’s retirement plan if you haven’t already done so. If you have, challenge yourself to increase your contribution by 5 percent this year. The change in your take-home pay will be nominal, the future savings great.

2. INCREASE INCOME Challenge yourself to increase income either through a raise, selling off items you could do without, working some overtime, or creating part-time income from another job or hobby. Find something you enjoy and consider a way to earn extra income from doing it.

3. DECREASE EXPENSES Pull the budget out and start digging. Challenge yourself to decrease those expenses by 5 percent; this will compensate for the additional 401(k) contribution. Try couponing, negotiating with your cable company for a lower rate, eating out less often, or carpooling.

4. LEARN Go to the library and grab some books on financial literacy. Read Web sites such as Yahoo Finance (www.yahoo.com/finance) or www.bloomberg.com. Attend free seminars offered in your area by professional financial planners or tax advisors.

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