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Friday, December 28, 2012 - 9:06pm
EL PASO — The New Year is just days away, and that means it's time to start thinking about making those resolutions. For some, that might include saving money and setting financial goals.
"This coming year, I plan to tighten on those purse strings," said El Pasoan Belen Robles.
However, for some, that is easier said than done.
"The most challenging part to save is having enough to pay your bills and then having some left over to save," said Margaret Vera.
According to Crystal Long, the Chief Executive Officer of Greater El Paso's Credit Union, you should start by identifying what you can afford, then start saving.
"It doesn't take much to get started, but what's important is that you start. So even if that start is $5 a pay period, or $2 a pay period, you have to start," said Long.
Long said the best way to start is by figuring out where your money goes.
"First of all, they have to track their spending, make sure that they're recording all their expenses, as well as all their deposits," Long said.
Once you know how much money you having coming in and going out, you can set a budget. The next step is to stick to it.
Rosa Carrasco said she has no problem sticking to a budget, and offers some savings tips of her own.
"I don't go to the mall, or if I do go to the mall or we go to Wal-Mart or something like that, I try and make a list and only go into the mall and buying those specific things," Carrasco said.
Robles said she understands the concept, but has a hard time following through.
"I do try to stick to the budget, but every once in a while I go over," said Robles.
Once you start keeping track, you might be surprised to figure out where your money is going. For example, Long said people often do not realize how much money they spend eating out.
Long also said the most important thing to keep in mind, is to try to prepare for the unexpected.
"From having a new baby, to a car breaking down, you have to have an emergency fund because everyone encounters emergencies now and then, and if you don't set aside money for a rainy day, then it will catch up with you," said Long.
Even if it takes a New Year's resolution to get you to start saving, Long said it should remain a lifetime effort.