Business

Tighten the belt in 2010

Here's a way to undo a poor spending decision:

Dump a cell contract: Paying an early termination fee can be worthwhile if you're in a bad contract. Fees are usually prorated based on how far into the contract you are. Even if you have to pay a full $175 termination fee, you make that up in less than three months if your bill is $60 a month. And you could sell your phone to further mitigate the cost.

Another out is to transfer your cell phone contract to someone else, which avoids the early termination fee. Online brokers are available to help. CellTradeUSA.com, for example, charges about $20 to play matchmaker. You might not be able to keep your wireless number, however.

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