(WHTM) — Many people start the new year with resolutions, and many people enter February having already broken them.
When it comes to finances, there are things you can do to get yourself back on track.
Money expert Nicole Lapin says the first step is admitting you have a problem.
“The only problem you can’t fix with your finances is the one you don’t admit you have. So take a closer look at what you’ve been spending and hopefully what you’ve been saving and put that into a realistic budget or spending plan,” Lapin said.
She says the best way to do that is by breaking down your budget to the three Es — Essentials, Endgame and Extras.
About 70% of your budget should go towards essentials, which is your food, housing and transportation. Put 15% into endgame, those are things for the future, like savings and retirement. And the final 15% goes toward extras, which is all the fun stuff.
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When it comes to debt, credit cards are a major source. On average, cardholders owe more than $5,000. Lapin says don’t be afraid to negotiate.
“I encourage folks to call up your credit card company. I know it can feel scary but the worst thing they can say is no if you ask them for a break on your fees or your interest rate,” she said.
Another simple tip to keep your financial resolutions is to check your subscriptions, cable, streaming services, fitness tracking, all can put a dent in your savings.
“It’s so easy for folks to sign up for a free trial once and forget to cancel it and all of a sudden it’s $10-$20 a month that’s drained from your bank account. This is a perfect time to go through your subscription. See what you’re using, see what you’re not using, and of course, cancel the things that you’re not using,” Lapin said.
Cutting back on those subscriptions can really add up. If you need help tracking your subscriptions and finding which ones you can do without, there are plenty of apps that can do that for you, like Truebill and Mint.