NEW YORK (AP) — New Year's resolutions often involve eating better and exercising, but you can also use the start of the year to get financially fit.
Making resolutions is easier than keeping them, however. The Associated Press talked to a few financial experts about what you should be doing to keep your money goals for the year on track.
Here's five money resolutions to consider for 2014:
1. KNOW WHERE YOU STAND
Begin 2014 with an overall view of your finances. Figure out your net worth: Write down your assets — bank balances, retirement accounts and the value of your home. Next list your debts, such as car loans, mortgages or credit-card balances. Subtract your debts from your assets. Save it, and do this exercise annually or twice a year. Writing the numbers down will help you see how your net worth is changing over the years, says Ernst & Young's Elda Di Re, who is a partner at the accounting firm's personal financial services group.
2. THINK SMALL
Aiming to save a big pot of money can be overwhelming and set you up for failure. Instead of resolving to save $1,200 over the year, for example, break that amount into smaller goals, says Jerry Love, an independent certified public accountant and a member of the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, which aims to educate Americans on personal finances. For a figure like $1,200, focus on saving $100 a month instead. Pulling together smaller amounts may be more manageable. Once you see that you're able to meet that goal after a few months, you're more likely to stay on track for the rest of the year, says Love.