Money Minute: Simplified financial planning -- 50 tips to get started

Here’s what you need to know to help simplify your financial planning -- watch the video above.

Here’s what you need to know to help simplify your financial planning -- watch the video above.

Further financial planning tips:

  1. Track spending for one month, do it again.
  2. Make one additional house payment this year.
  3. Tear up one credit card, then another. Contact Consumer Credit Counseling.
  4. Use true no-load mutual funds.
  5. Use index mutual funds.
  6. Buy term insurance. Research the cost on the Internet.
  7. Increase the deductibles on your homeowner’s insurance. Invest the savings
  8. Increase the deductibles on your automotive insurance. Invest the savings
  9. Carry “liability only” insurance on your on your old car.
  10. Fund your 401(k) with your tax return . Change your deductions next year.
  11. Reallocate your 401(k) once a year. Stick to your allocation.
  12. Only look at your portfolio once every 4 months.
  13. Read the “Average Family’s Guide to Financial Freedom” by Bill and Mary Toohey.
  14. Read “The Millionaire Next Door.”
  15. Pack a sack lunch once a week
  16. Check with your CPA mid-year to estimate your annual taxes. Pay no more than is needed.
  17. Initiate a monthly meeting with your spouse to discuss matters of money.
  18. Set up a savings account with your child. Talk about college expenses with that kid.
  19. Start saving for college expenses. $50 will do .
  20. Go to Read about section 529. Find the cheap one.
  21. Set up a health savings account.
  22. Sign up for a Gym on a monthly basis.
  23. Get simple wills done.
  24. If you’re a single person- get power of attorney’s completed
  25. Research the cost of long-term care as part of your retirement plan.
  26. Give one check for the year to the temple or your church
  27. Brew your own coffee; Skip the gourmet stuff -- invest the rest, retire Rich.
  28. Reduce your 401(k) plan to only six mutual funds-use index funds.
  29. Refinance your 30-year mortgage to a 15-year note. Pay it off in 10.
  30. Look into starting a small business -- write a business plan.
  31. Save for a down payment on your first house. Save a 20% down payment.
  32. Skip buying a lottery ticket.
  33. Set up a Roth IRA. Bank draft,$100 a month.
  34. After you have tracked your expenses for one month, reduce them the next.
  35. Spend no more than $50 on a watch.
  36. Read about variable annuities-decide against them.
  37. Read about variable universal life insurance -- decide against using it.
  38. Set a uniform gift to minors for your child to supplement your 529.
  39. Invest for capital gains.
  40. Avoid unneeded tax deferral.
  41. Find a financial planner who charges on a fee only basis. No commissions allowed.
  42. Find seven assets classes that you will use in your 401(k) -- stick to them.
  43. Finance your next car for three years. Drive it for four. Save the payment.
  44. Create financial plan for yourself knowing where you are right now,and where you want to be
  45. Research using an immediate annuity for part of your retirement funds.
  46. Dedicate yourself to accumulating a cash reserve. Save $100
  47. Stay married.
  48. Mediate your divorce.
  49. Read “Overspent American” by Juliet B Shor
  50. Research the idea of being in business for yourself at age 61-65. Deduct medical premiums.


  • Set up a savings plan by bank draft using no-load mutual funds.
  • Set up a quarterly meeting to talk about money with your kid
  • When your home has appreciated 20%, tell your mortgage company to stop the PMI.
  • Cash reserves will help you increase your deductibles. Increase your cash reserves.
  • Dedicate yourself to low fees in 529 plans . f. Define your critical capital.
  • Dedicate yourself to living on 24 pay periods. Put two “pay periods” toward your mortgage.
  • If you watch a daily show about money -- stop; if you don’t, start. Keep it to once a week.

More: Money Minute section

About the Author:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.