YOUR FINANCIAL FITNESS.
Money $mart Week doesn't come until April, but perhaps as part of getting your records together for tax season, you might do four simple things. Keep track of spending. With freeware and shareware spreadsheets, this is simpler than having to enter numbers in a ledger with a quill pen. Create a budget. This can be as simpler as reviewing last year's spreadsheet, and thinking about areas to cut back on, as you prepare a preliminary spreadsheet for this year. Pay down credit card debt. It's simple, really. Parking cash in a savings account at around 1% and making only the minimum payment on a revolving account at around 20% is the slow road to destitution. Focus on retirement. Not everyone can walk away from it before his sixtieth birthday, but establishing a reserve against the day it ceases to be fun to go to work, or the day you can't resist saying "take this job and shove it" makes the bad days more bearable.