It’s a new decade. These are the tens, and this could well be the best decade of my life. How about you? Whether you’re reading this in 2010, 2020, or some other year, it’s time to make some conscious changes to your finances to move your life forward. Time won’t stop to wait for you, and life flies by faster than anyone can imagine. That’s something I’ve been realizing more as I’ve grown older. I’d love to have my younger years again to make some of these changes earlier.
From a financial perspective, there are a number of things you can do to start the decade or any year off right.
1. Pay off debt. Making the commitment to eliminate debt requires a philosophical approach and a strong dedication. It may also require you to rearrange your finances. Here’s how to start paying off debt.
2. Open a high-yield savings account. It may be true that interest rates are low today, but high-yield savings accounts are the best places for storing any cash you might need in a year’s time, including your emergency fund. Make sure you also review the best savings accounts. Read more about opening a savings account.
3. Invest for the future. It’s wonderful to live in the moment, but if you do so while ignoring your future, you will find it difficult to survive and be satisfied when working is no longer desirable or possible. You must consider the needs of your future self — and your future family. Read more about investing for the future.
4. Do something you love. Right now may be the best time to make a significant change in your life. If possible, make your life about doing something you’re passionate about and get paid to do it. It’s almost always possible, even if it requires some creative thinking. Find your passions if you haven’t already. Here’s more about the importance of doing something you love.
5. Cut out unnecessary expenses. There are small, unnecessary expenses like a daily gourmet coffee or your book-buying habit (the library is free). There are large expenses like overpaying for a house or leasing a car. There are silent expenses like interest charges on debt. Eliminate the worst of these. Read more.
Updated September 14, 2011 and originally published January 12, 2011.