Personal Finance Round-Up: Looking Back to Move Forward with Your Finances in 2011

I find one thing that is often forgotten in the hype of the New Year is the end-of-year review. In order for you to progress in the next year and head in the right direction, it’s very important to study where you were a year ago, what you did and didn’t do well, and what things you should focus on in the next year.

As people across the nation pick themselves back up after a difficult year, many will be focusing on improving their credit. Your credit score is an indicator of your credit trustworthiness, and it is reviewed in many life situations: job interviews, loan applications, credit card applications all will rely somewhat on your credit score.

Here are a few tips from Cash Money Life’s article titled What Should You Do If You Miss a Credit Card Payment that can help you improve your credit score over time and reduce major drops in your score should you run into hard times.

Check out the rest of these picks for more ways to look back and to move forward:

Never Sign a 2-Year Contract with a Cell Phone Carrier
Two years may not seem like that long when you are itching to get your hands on that hot new phone, but so much can happen in two years that I stand with this piece in saying don’t jump into a two year contract with a cell phone provider. Read the pros and cons of the contract and see what we mean. [No Debt Plan]

House Poor? 4 Ways to Earn Income from Your House
Owning a home can be a huge benefit to you and your family, but it can also be expensive. Check this article out to find ways to make money from your home, perhaps enough to cover part of your mortgage and tip the home ownership scale toward asset. [Cool to be Frugal]

12 Money Lessons For Kids and Parents Alike
It’s never too late and rarely too early to learn lessons about money. These lessons are valuable and great for any age. Learn them well and they will vastly improve your financial life. [Debt Kid]

The Best Financial Advice I Never Received
Some lessons are those you learn through the negative example of others around you, like the lessons this author learned from her parent’s struggles with money from an early age. [Everyday Tips and Thoughts]

The High Cost Of Cheap Food
Getting into shape, living healthier, and eating better is a common theme this time of year and for good reason. The cost of eating a little healthier now is nothing compared to the cost of bad health later, so take a step towards a better life and check out these tips. [Learnvest Blog]

My Three Best Tax Filing Tips
A mix of looking ahead and reviewing the previous year, tax season can be stressful. This article has great tips, my favorite being to start early. Don’t put off something you will have to do eventually. [Money Under 30]

IRS Audit Red Flags: The Dirty Dozen
I think it’s safe to say that we are all slightly scared of an audit from the IRS, even if we attempt to do everything right, because taxes are complicated and mistakes happen. Take some extra precaution this year and ensure you aren’t putting up any red flags for the IRS with these twelve tips. [Kiplinger]

The Art of Saying No
Saying no never used to be a big deal for me, until I started actually getting asked things. It really is an art to say no and preserve relationships and working conditions. These tips can help you make a stand without burning bridges. [Couple Money]

6 Buffet Investing Lessons Applied To My Business
Around these parts, the name Buffet only brings one man to mind. He is one of the world’s most brilliant businessmen and there isn’t much luck behind his success. There are far more than just six lessons we can learn from him, but this is a start. [The Financial Blogger]

(photo credit: kusito)

  • Kevin Jordan

    Related to personal finance…. take a look at the cost of raising a child today vs. 1960. Nice graphic from Visual Economics.