Our country's financial system may be set up to keep most people poor—70% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck—but there are ways to win this war of the wallet. "It's a game and you need to know the rules and how to play," says money coach, David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire. Given 30 days to help you fix your finances, he'd have you:
1. Pay yourself first, automatically, in a tax-deductible return account, such as a 401(k) Plan, an IRA account or a self-employed retirement account. Ideally, have one hour's worth of income per day moved automatically from your paycheck into that retirement account. (Start with 1% of gross income and increase gradually.)
2. Look at doing a biweekly mortgage (half a payment every two weeks). The average person saves over $50,000 in interest with this one change.
3. Track where your money is going and find your "latte factor"—how much you spend on things you don't think about—at finishrich.com.