Financial tips for the new year

It’s only been a month since the holiday season. While the holidays can be a lot of fun, it can be pricey.

“Most people end up being about $2,500 in debt or more because of the holiday season,” said Ruth Elisa, a financial counselor.

Elisa is telling her clients to look at all the items they purchased.

“Calculate everything to the penny. And then, look at how much they are in debt now. The reason, I want them to start the new year fresh, looking kind of looking at the past because I want them to plan for the next holiday,” said Elisa.

When it comes to creating a budget, you want to stick to it.

“It’s more about discipline than it is about any kind of secrets, whether it’s investing or finding this new side hustle. If you don’t know how to manage your money properly – and that starts with looking at your budget – it doesn’t matter how much money you have coming in,” said Elisa.

Elisa said when tracking your budget, it’s more than just looking at your mortgage or rent.

“How much are you spending on dining out? How much are you spending on entertainment? How much are you spending on your hair and your nails, anything beauty or grooming? Those things need to be calculated into your budget as well,” said Elisa.

Elisa is challenging everyone to track their expenses for 30 days.

“Just do 30 days at first, and you will be wildly surprised at how much money you are actually wasting, so before making any statements, and saying you know, I’m living check to check. There’s no way that can happen, please just track it at first,” said Elisa.