Posted Online: May 12, 2012, 2:40 pm
Web Winners: Saving better, behaving better
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We all seem to do something wrong when it comes to money. Whether your problem is not saving enough, or investing in money-losers, these sites could help you begin to change.
- Becoming a saver: There are three basic financial profiles, according to this entry at the personal-finance section on Tipcentral.net. You either spend more than you have, spend what you have, or spend less.
Everyone's first long-term goal should be to get into the last category of savers. As creatures of habit, however, it's incredibly hard to do that. Still, over time, it seems, it can be done. www.bit.ly/ib7QOD.
- Good habits: Here is a list of money habits to work on acquiring, from a site whose name is a mouthful, GetFinancialFreedomTips.com. Impulse buying, overspending on gifts, and using credit-card convenience checks that come in the mail are among things to stop doing right now.
On the to-do side, pay bills promptly, have paycheck money go automatically into a retirement account, and check your credit reports annually for errors and patterns. www.bit.ly/ILkRPj.
- Suppress, reward and automate: There's a lot more on breaking bad habits -- and on how hard that is to do -- at Bankrate.com. Get some advice here on how to suppress the urge to buy, how to reward yourself for good financial behavior, and how to automate bill-paying, saving and other financial activities to relieve you of the temptation to not do them. Writer Naomi Mannino says to focus on the positive to crowd out bad habits. www.bit.ly/I2ufLi
- Retrain your habitual brain: The rules for changing habitual activity apply outside the realm of personal finance, too. This post at the site called Pick the Brain suggests trying out the theory that most any new behavior can become a habit if you concentrate on doing it for 30 days.
But writer Scott Young, who says he's used the technique to tweak his routines and make his life more happy and healthy, insists the idea might not work if you try to change more than one habit at a time.
Writing things down, telling friends, and getting feedback are important supports for changing behavior, he says, and confidence is also key. www.bit.ly/IO1R5E.