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Develop good money habits

You'll need good money management skills to follow through with your goal to become debt-free.

A must-have habit is paying your bills on time, every time. Today's credit card late fees can quickly consume your extra cash. Check out these tips for avoiding late fees.

If you're like a lot of people, your monthly bills lack balance. It may be worse at the beginning of the month, when your mortgage or rent is due and maybe a car payment and a credit card bill or two. The middle of the month might be less burdensome. By calling your creditors and asking to change the payment due dates to fit your monthly cash flow, you'll avoid missing due dates and paying late fees.

Another habit to develop is monitoring your bank accounts. A whopping 43 percent of Americans don't regularly reconcile their checkbooks. Check out these seven simple steps to keep a handle on your checking account.

NEXT: Slash your everyday expenses
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