Prosper During Good Times and Bad

     Get organized. Put all your income and expenses down on paper or on your computer. Try to determine how you can increase your income and decrease your expenses as much as possible. Once you have your income and expenses organized decide how much money you want to contribute each payday to savings, building up a down payment for a home, vacation fund, emergency fund, etc. Set up accounts to deposit these funds into each payday. At ING Direct you can set up as many accounts as you would like so that you can keep track of your various goals.

     Stick to your financial plan. Everybody has different goals for their money. Decide what yours are and start achieving them step by step. One way I motivate myself to stick to my plan is I contribute to it each week on payday instead of monthly. With the ease of banking and bill paying on the internet doing it weekly instead of monthly is not that much more effort. One example is my goal of paying my mortgage off early so I can work less and spend more time with my wife, children, and grandchildren. My original goal was to pay $500 a month more on my mortgage. Instead I broke it down to paying $125 a week. There are a couple advantages to this:
1. I am making weekly progress on this goal which helps keep me motivated to stick to my financial plan.
2. I end up making more progress on my goal because instead of paying $6000 a year on the monthly plan I am paying $6500 a year by paying weekly:

     Stick to your financial plan. Increase your income and cut your expenses as much as possible and it will make it that much easier to achieve your goals. One way to cut expenses is with your cell phone. If you are a light user consider a pre-paid phone. See the links to my articles on eHow about cell phones below.  When trying to live a frugal life do not forget about living for today. Put aside a little money each payday for vacations, dates with your significant other, and hobbies. Live for today and plan for the future and you will prosper in good times and bad!

Tags: ING Direct, Money, Saving, Prosper, Future