Top financial tips for 2010

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Just like exercising, people often make promises at the beginning of each year about how they plan to start the year on the right foot financially.

Unfortunately like the work out plan, many people fail to stick to it, but here are some tips that can help.

  • Track spending and create a budget

"That's gonna help you learn how to cash flow, learn how to pay your bills on time and plan for purchases instead of putting them on a credit card," says Consumer Credit Counseling of West Georgia/East Alabama CEO Lisa Scrivner.

  • Plan to pay down debt

"You want to start attacking those with the highest interest rates first, and then work your way toward the smaller debts," explains Scrivner.

  • Save, save, save

"If you will start putting 10% away in a savings account, so that when you have a flat tire or when you have another type of emergency, the hot water heater bursts or something like that, instead of putting that on a credit card that you'll have to pay over several months, you'll have an adequate emergency amount of savings to be able to pay for those items," adds Scrivner.

  • Get a copy of your credit report

"If you do not pay your bills on time, if you have too much debt, your credit score is gonna reflect that and you're gonna wind up paying more and more interest for the money you do borrow," Scrivner says.

Consumers who have serious financial problems should seek professional help. Places like Consumer Credit Counseling of West Georgia-East Alabama offer free sessions for things like basic budgeting.

You can call 706-327-3239 for more information.

©2009 WTVM. All rights reserved.