Money saving tips to kick-start the New Year

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - As the New Year approaches, it's time for a clean start, perhaps even a New Year's resolution.

Justin Leland from Moneywise Guys joined Sunrise with some money-saving tips to kick-start the New Year:

  1. Get Control of Your Budget: If you are not already tracking your spending, now is the time to start. Take advantage of free online resources like Mint.com to make tracking your expenses a breeze. You can't save or adjust your spending if you don't know where you money is going. Are you spending $50 a week on lattes? You could use that $200 a month to help with Goal #2, and my guess is you could make better coffee at home or at the office.
  2. Lower or Eliminate your Debt: You should make it a high priority to lower your debt. Learn what you can do to set up a debt payment plan that will speed up the process and ways that you can find more money to apply to your debt. Don't forget that the hardest part of getting out of debt is to stop adding to it. Use some restraint and delay the satisfaction of buying an item that you can't afford. Are you hoping to get a substantial tax refund? Use half of that money to pay down debts, and use the other half to start you on Goal #3.
  3. Save and Invest for the Future: You can and should want to invest in retirement even if you are not completely out of debt. If you have a 401k or other company sponsored retirement plan, invest up to your employer's match, then focus the rest of the discretionary income towards getting out debt you can do both things at the same time. As an added bonus, that 401(k) match is free money given to you that is invested and has the ability to grow.
  4.  A good support system will help you reach your goals. So be sure to share your goals with a trusted friend and ask them to hold you accountable by checking back in on your progress. Create a debt reduction checklist and track your progress.

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