Getting financially lean in 2013 starts with reviewing and reducing debt.
“Take a good look at what your debt is like. If there are any red flags there you have to resolve to get that reigned in as soon as possible,” Paul Golden, National Endowment for Financial Education Spokesperson said.
Tackle debt then assess your earnings and subtractions.
“Look at the amount of money you have coming in. I think we’re all pretty keyed into what our net amount is, but many of us don’t pay attention to what our deductions are,” Golden said.
Take note of what’s taking a bite out of your budget, even if it’s small.
“Look at things your spending on where you may be able to save money. Think about internet, cable, phone and also insurance providers. Comparison-shop those items and maybe you can save five or ten dollars a month on all of those. If you do that it could really result in some significant savings over the course of the year,” Golden said.
Shop smarter to make your money work harder for you. That can help with saving goals.
“Make sure that we’re staying reasonable in our goal setting and we’ve got to have a savings in place. That’s probably the most important thing for people,” Golden said.
Another idea is to find a friend to keep you on track throughout the year.
“One of the best things that can help you is having a financial buddy. This is someone you’re going to trust and who’s going to understand your goals, but who’s also going to hold you accountable,” Golden said.
Set aside time each week to check account balances and monitor your progress year-long to stick to your resolution.