They don’t really have your back.

Discard the idea that your phone company (or companies if you have a land line and mobile service) and credit card providers will let you know when you are eligible for a better rate.

At least once a year, call them up and ask if they can give you a better rate.

It's particularly helpful if you can tell them the lower rate that a competitor is offering (which you can often find with a bit of internet research if your junk mail doesn't announce it). They will almost invariably be able to match that rate.

Sell Something

Find the three most valuable things that you own that you don't want to own anymore and sell them.

Ebay, Craig's List, going to an appraiser, yard sale, whatever works best.

Just turn them into some money and then take 10-20% of that money to use for something fun, like dinner out, and use the rest to discard some debt.

Free Stuff!

Today, go shopping in the back of your closets, basement, attic or other cold storage spots.

You'll unearth some trash, recycling and "give to charity" items, but I bet you'll find at least one treasure too.

Does that old jacket you forgot you owned go great with your newest slacks? Is this rediscovered pair of shoes exactly what you want to wear tonight? Will that old Atari 2600 and a subscription to Make Magazine be a great present for your nephew?

Dig for gold!

Agreeing to Disagree

You may never find the common ground that allows you to understand all of why your opponent on something approaches the situation as he does, but you do need to let go of the idea that he does what he does because he is stupid or evil.

Let go of this so that you can move forward from a position of greater comprehension about the situation as whole.

Let go of this so that others – opponents, allies or observers – are less inclined to see you and your viewpoint as naive.

Let go of this so you are more open to a successful outcome.

One of the best simple pleasures

There is one thing that can really make a difference in your day: how well you slept the night before.

Cut corners on other things so you can have a better bed. A good mattress is a truly wise investment.

No matter your mattress, though, what you really need is enough time spent with it. Get to bed at a reasonable hour, get a good night's rest, stretch when you get up in the morning, and then face the world with a bit more (bed)spring in your step.

Daily Dumping Ground Patrol

Where's that bad spot where stuff piles up each & every day?

You know the one. Where you set things down when you get home or the heap of dirty laundry  that forms nightly or the shoes & socks kicked off under the desk or the mound of dishes in the sink, perhaps?

Make a new part of your daily routine where you eliminate that mess. Remember: if you clean it daily, there really isn't that much of it and it will be quick and easy to erase it.

Next step, optional but recommended, is to change the habit that creates the mess in the first place.

International Futzing About With Your Music Day

Over time your opinions and tastes change. Today is the day for getting the music you don't really like or listen to anymore out of your way and make room for more.

– Delete all the music on your computer and/or MP3 player that makes you say "Meh." There is better stuff out there for you.

– Go through your CDs, records, tapes, wax cylinders, etc. and gather together all the things you don't care that much for anymore. Sell them or give them away.

A good place to turn old CDs you don't like into new ones you do is the newly launched lala.com where you'll receive as many CDs from your Want List as you send out from your Have List. It costs $1.49 each time you get a new disc, which is a better rate of trade than you'll usually find selling CDs and buying used ones.

– Find new music to stretch your brain. Go listen to local bands. Check out music recommending services like Pandora and last.fm. Ask your friends to make you a mix.