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Regulate the banks with your personal decisions

Last night, Congress voted against a measure that would break up major Wall Street banks and end the mentality of "too big to fail".  Bank of America, JP Morgan, Chase, CitiGroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley would have all been affected by this reform.

The recent vote to continue to allow Wall Street to win only adds to already growing frustrations.  Many every day Americans can feel powerless, but we are not.  There are several things each one of us can do to make a huge impact on the financial institutions in our country.

  1. Move Your Money: There is a campaign to encourage individuals to move their money from the big banks into smaller community banks or credit unions.  If enough people move their money, the big bankers who Washington keeps protecting will feel the effects.
  2. Pay Down Debt: If you are able to, pay down your debt, even if this means forgoing some of the luxuries you enjoy.  Due to the Credit Card Reform Act of 2009, creditors must now show on your statement how much you will pay in interest if you continue to make the minimum monthly payment.  If you eliminate the debt, you reign in control of the banks. 
  3. Control Your Spending: Take a financial fast to really take a look at where you are spending your money.  Challenge yourself to go 2 weeks or an entire month without using plastic - credit and debit . Carry cash.  This will cause you to lessen the amount you spend on big ticket items and make you more aware of where you are spending your money.  Also, by lessening your use of plastic - even if it's just your debit card - you lessen your chance of incurring overdraft fees. 

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