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New year is a good time to focus on finances

University of Central Oklahoma economics professor Sue Lynn Sasser talks about financial resolutions.
by Paula Burkes Published: January 1, 2013

Q&A with Sue Lynn Sasser

Beginning of year is good time

to think about financial future

Q: What are the smartest financial resolutions for 2013?

A: It's always good to focus on the basics, especially increasing savings and paying down debt. A new year is a great time to review your spending habits and adjust your budget accordingly. Track your spending for at least two weeks to see where your money goes; then you can find ways to cut expenses or offset increases in another area. It's also a good time to review insurance policies and beneficiaries to be sure they are current and the coverage is what you need.

Q: What are the least wise?

A: Focusing on only one aspect of your finances is generally not a good tactic. Taking a holistic approach where you can see the relationship between income and spending is generally best. Also, reducing retirement contributions or borrowing from a retirement account to cover other bills or current needs is rarely a good idea. Doing so reduces your future income and it's virtually impossible to replace.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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