Tips on how to make 2014 better financially - Tucson News Now

Tips on how to make 2014 better financially

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

With healthy job gains in 2013 and a hike in Arizona's minimum wage starting with the new year, now might be the time to tackle financial resolutions. Country Financial representative Dominic Escamilla offers some tips for paying down debt and creating savings.

The first thing to do is make a monthly budget, and the easiest way to do that is to get a budget worksheet.  Worksheets can be found on the internet for free, and contain a list of income and expenses.  Escamilla recommends using a worksheet that includes a listing for savings. 

If you're going to make any progress this year, Escamilla says you have to get honest about what you spend.  That means listing your entertainment expenses such as movies and games as well as nights on the town.  One thing many people forget to budget is their food costs. 

Now it's time to get to work.  Escamilla offers tips such as trimming groceries costs by cutting luxury items like soda and fast food, avoid New Year's purchase such as a gym memberships that just add another monthly bill, pay off your credit card with the highest interest first, and start saving.  Even if you save in small amounts, Escamilla says it's important to pay yourself first and add that item to your monthly budget.  A good place to start is adding to your 401K.

Tackling this New Year's resolution will mean changing the way you think about your wants and needs.  Escamilla says it's a good thing to realize you need help, and help can be found for free.  Just reach out to the banks and insurance companies who already handle your accounts.

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