Dear Friends, 

2009 was a very tough year for many of us for a lot of different reasons. Many people are unemployed or underemployed and are feeling financial hardships or even losing their homes. I want to give you some tips and financial insights for 2010. 

Step 1: Start accounting for your money. Fill out a profit and loss statement every month for your family. I have bee doing this since 1996. Every month, track all your bills and spending along with your income.

Step 2: Pay off all revolving debt. Credit cards are making banks rich. Send in extra money every month to the smallest balance card first and pay them off one account at a time.

Step 3: Either refinance or modify your mortgage. Because of the drop in values, you may only be able to modify. Contact your servicer (the one you make your payment to) and go to their home retention department and file for hardship modification. You may need to call 100 times to get it done. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

Step 4: Save 20% of your gross taxable income. You must do this or you will always struggle financially. I know it’s HARD to save 20% of gross taxable income (W-2 Income) but it will make the difference the next time the economy struggles.

 These are the great steps that I live by.

Thanks for all your support in 2009 and please, if you or someone you know wants to buy or sell a home, we would greatly appreciate the business in 2010. The economy is slowly starting to improve.