It may be a new year, but your financial decisions of the past are still here. The beginning of the year is a great time to sit down and evaluate your spending: past, present and future.
Financial expert Marley Prunty-Lara says there are three things everyone can do to get on the right financial foot in 2013.
First, track your purchases to see where your money goes each month.
"Really think about where those small purchases are going and where the money can be saved," Prunty-Lara said.
Second, go on a debt diet; stop getting farther in the hole and pay more toward what you do owe.
"Say every month, I am going to pay $20 toward my reduction of my debt. By doing that, at the end of the month, you might have $2,500 paid off," Prunty-Lara said.
And by tracking your expenses and bringing down debt, it will make it more affordable to buy whatever you're saving for, like a new home.
Prunty-Lara also advises to set goals that keep you motivated. Whether you're saving up for a new house, a new car or a nice vacation, set short or long term milestones.
"So when you start thinking about those long-term goals, you tend to be a smarter consumer and be able to afford the things you want to get out of life," Prunty-Lara said.
Experts say when you pay more than you owe toward student loans, a car or credit cards, be sure to mention you want the money to go toward the principal instead of interest.