David Bach: Five smart financial moves for the year ahead

Nov. 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM ET

Today Money financial expert David Bach joined us for a live Web chat Wednesday to answer your questions.

Here’s one of his answers to questions from the live chat. (See below for the full Q&A and video of David’s TV appearance this morning.)

Teisha asked:

“With the new year coming up, what five pieces of advice would you offer in terms of becoming better financially fit to start out a new year?”

David replied:

“Teisha great question. Are you a Today Show Producer, we can write the segment right now for you.

Okay my five pieces of advice for 2012...are...drum roll!

1) PAY YOURSELF FIRST. That means the moment you earn a dollar, you direct at least the first hour of income in the day to retirement account (like a 401k plan, IRA, Roth IRA or SEP IRA).

2) SAVE MONEY AUTOMATICALLY. That means that everything you save for you make the money move automatically. You have your earnings deposited automatically for you, and it's moved automatically at your bank into the various savings accounts you set up for retirement, emergency, college savings, home etc.

3) PAY DOWN YOUR DEBT. If you have credit debt, rather than worry about investing right now focusing on paying the credit card debt down. Go to www.finishrich.com/dolp and download my tool to help you pay down your debt or go to www.debtwise.com which is a site I promote with Equifax that helps you pay down your debt. Debt reduction is the key to financial security and freedom...so get serious about paying it down in 2012.

4) REFINANCE FROM 30 YEAR TO 15 YEAR. If you can afford to make extra payments on your mortgage do it., and you are really ready to get serious about being debt free, refinance from a 30 year to a 15 year mortgage. The rates on mortgages are the lowest we have practically ever seen, and now is a great time to do this.

5) GET SMART FINANCIALLY. To me the best investment you can make financially in 2012 will be in your own financial education. Learn more, read books, take classes, tune into us each week on Money 911, visit money.today.com ... make learning about money learning everything you can about YOUR MONEY, what you own and invest in a 2012 reality.

Thanks for the question....hope you enjoyed today’s chat!”

Here’s the full chat archive and David’s TV appearance:

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