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Getting Off On The Right Foot In 2011: Mint’s Personal Finance Roundup

photo: meddygarnet

Happy 2011! It’s that time of the year when people are still a little sedate because of holiday hangovers. The work grind is still picking up momentum from the holidays, and these pockets of “calm before the storm” are perfect moments for us to start the year right. Hopefully, we have time to reassess our lives in order to see areas where we can improve, directions that we can take and goals we can set for 2011 and beyond. Here are a few financial articles to guide you.

One major reason why most of us don’t stick to our New Years’ resolutions beyond the third week of January is that they may not be realistic, sustainable, nor practical. Check out Faith and Finance‘s list of 6 Ways To Make New Year Resolutions That Work for some tips on how to stick to yours.

One of the most common New Years’ resolutions and goals for 2011 is improving one’s career situation or making more money. Here are two great articles that can give you some insight on this matter. Studenomics’ post on Top Three Dream Jobs of 2010 & Why They’re So Popular may give you ideas about where to take your career next, or may allow you to think about your options should you hit a rough patch at your job.

For ideas on earning more and keeping more of your money, regardless of your career situation, check out The Smarter Wallet’s Get Extra Cash & Make An Additional $100 A Month .

Have you always been meaning to start your investment portfolio but never really had the guts, inclination or time to do so? How about reading through Are You Ready To Invest In The Stock Market? This article by NerdWallet may help you figure out if you’re prepared to become a stock investor.

When investing in stocks, it’s important to check on industry trends. Things Don’t Cost What They Used To: 10 Major Price Shifts in 2010 by Wisebread may point out those areas where prices are on the rise. This may be bad news for the consumer, but is better news for the investor. Either way, this article offers extra insight into price trends that should prove useful.

Planning for the year ahead also involves simplifying, organizing and improving our efficiency. One great way to handle our finances more quickly and efficiently is to go paperless: I’m Switching To E-Bills And E-Statements by Money Smarts Blog discusses one person’s decision to try out online billing management.

Let’s take a look at the tax front and see what’s in store for us this 2011. Kiplinger’s Tax Deal: What’s In It for You? reviews the tax developments that President Barack Obama has signed. Though the financial world is apprehensive about what this could mean for our economy, to the individual consumer, this could mean more breathing room.

If you’re looking for a way to minimize the impact of the Alternative Minimum Tax, try increasing your charitable donations. The New York Times’ Bucks personal finance blog discusses Minimizing A.M.T. Through Charitable Donations. The article gives a great background on how the Alternative Minimum Tax arose and how you can work around it and get a bit of a break from your taxes.

The new year may still hold a degree of uncertainty for us all, but no one can deny that new beginnings always signal hope. Sure, life could deal us a bum card, but it’s up to us to make the most out of the cards we are dealt and to find the positive in any situation we face. So here’s to a great new year and a fresh start!

Silicon Valley Blogger (SVB) runs  The Digerati Life and  The Smarter Wallet, where she writes about  general personal finance topics such as investing, budgeting, debt management and small business ideas.