This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

We started a project on our Facebook page a couple days ago. We asked the scrimpers and savers to give us their best personal finance tip — and, so far, a few people have offered their advice:

  • “The early bird gets the worm.”
  • “Stop eating out.”
  • “Buy what you need, not what you want – and never what society tells you you want!”
  • “Ditch cable/satellite, make meal plans, and only buy what’s on the ingredients list, pay cash, use a no-fee bank.”

It’s a great start. It’s also interesting how even just putting something like this together works. I started reading the comments, and for some reason one of them just hit me in the face: “Stop eating out.” Wow.

I can’t explain why that jumped off the page at me. It’s not like I’ve been particularly concerned about our food budget. But for some reason, it caught my eye. And the next time I looked at the list, it stuck in my head. And now I’m thinking that I may have just found my next focus.

$50 bill with red ribbon as gift

I really like these tips. But even more, I like what they can do. Even the act of reading the list is powerful. But what makes it special is that, by adding her thoughts to our call for tips, someone I don’t know just changed my thinking. Thank you, Monica.

Here’s mine:  Stick with it, and don’t give up. You may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel yet. But that doesn’t mean you’re not on the right track. And when you get tired, look backward and remember how far you’ve come. Take a break if you have to, but then get back up and press on. You’ll get there if you keep at it!

Will you help us build the definitive list of personal finance tips?

What is your best personal finance tip — whether it’s because it helped you the most, it was the easiest to implement, or because it just made sense out of something you previously didn’t get? Also, why is it your best tip?