Chris Farrell`s Top 10 Financial Tips (from www.rightonthemoney.org) 1. Plan ahead. Create a vision of your retirement. Not just how you want to live, but what you want to do. Plan to fund your vision. Whether you`re in your 20s or your 50s, now is the time to begin putting money into a retirement savings account, like an IRA or 401(k). Compound interest will give your investments a big boost! 2. Get rid of credit-card debt. You don`t need more than one credit card. It`s all too easy to run up an eye-popping credit-card balance, so instill the discipline of paying off your credit-card bill every month. Find one with no annual fee and the lowest interest rate you can get. Better yet, consider using a debit card -- an electronic check that looks like a credit card -- you can`t spend more than you have in checking account. 3. Own your own home. Good financial planning habits often begins with homeownership. But don`t strap yourself by taking on a huge mortgage. You don`t want to work to pay the mortgage bill. 4. Taking care of home. Estate planning applies to everyone, not just those with large estates, and shouldn`t be put off until old age. A will is a vital step, especially if you have children. 5. Create a budget. To establish a realistic budget, keep track of all your bills and write down everything you spend for several months. To start living off the budget you`ve created, write checks for the necessities and pay yourself a cash allowance for everything else. Or have the money for your bills automatically taken out of your bank account. 6. Build an emergency fund. Save at least three to six months of living expenses in case of job loss, health or family emergencies. Since no one can predict the future, preparing for the unexpected is a wise financial move. 7. Check your credit report annually for inaccurate information as well as signs of identity theft. 8. Invest in a paper shredder and shred pre-approved credit-card offers and old financial documents. 9. Eliminate impulsive shopping habits. Whenever you shop, create a list as your guide. Try shopping with cash only. When shopping for groceries, shop on a full stomach -- you`ll be less inclined to deviate from your list. 10. Do your homework. Whatever you`re planning, buying a home, investing in the stock market or setting up a budget, do some research first. Educate yourself. Learn more about personal finance. Visit www.rightonthemoney.org to learn more about how to better organize and take control of your financial situation.