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30 Things Every 30-Year-Old Should Know About Money

04/22/2013 04:26 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2013
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I'm 33 and I've made just about every financial mistake you can think of: over-drafting, bad checks (accidentally), bank account closed (by the bank), reports to Chexsystems, low credit score, having a ton of credit cards (20, at my peak), pre-foreclosure, high-credit card debt, late student loan payments, investment scams (I was the victim)... there's more, but you get the picture.

As a result of all my mistakes, I've learned some pretty valuable lessons. I'm doing relatively awesome now (financially speaking), so I figured I'd share what I've learned with you.

1. How to budget

2. What a 401k is

3. How to properly use credit (cards)

4. How to borrow money and pay it back... on time

5. The basics of investing

6. How to say no when someone asked to borrow money (and mean it)

7. The difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA

8. Your financial baseline: the lowest amount of money you can make each month and still survive.

9. What multiple streams of income are and how to get some

10. How to save for the things you want vs. financing

11. How to deal with debt collectors without freaking-out, ignoring them or avoiding their calls

12. How to negotiate discounts with your service providers

13. What a credit report is and how to read it

14. How to ask for a deferment or forbearance of a student loan, rather than defaulting

15. Why you should NEVER co-sign on a loan, not even for family (especially not for family)

16. How to buy a home (even if you're not planning on doing so yet)

17. How to make money with a hobby

18. How to pay for a wedding without incurring debt (if you plan on tying the knot)

19. What a credit score is and how it's calculated

20. How to help out friends and family without putting your own finances in jeopardy

21. What your time is worth

22. What your ideal life looks like and how much it would cost you to maintain it

23. How much money you want to have for retirement and what you need to be doing now to get it

24. How to clean up your credit report

25. How to save for emergencies

26. How to quit a sucky job with enough money in the bank to last until you find a more awesome place to work

27. How to lower your tax burden

28. How best to use your tax refund

29. How to pay for a vacation, before going on vacation

30. How to LIVE RICHER: to live every-day life for less money and more fun

I'm sure there areprobably more, but I said 30 so here it is. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Did I miss any good ones? What would you add to the list?

Live richer,

(Dispenser of FUN, financial education)