A: Be careful about spending or overspending on the unnecessary. That may include gym memberships, home equipment, special diets or other “health” kicks. Unless you are totally committed to making a change, that's money wasted. You might even start with a less expensive option, such as walking, to measure your commitment. Also, be careful about spending those tax refunds on something frivolous. It's not free money. It's your earnings and should be treated like any other household income. You may even want to review your withholdings to increase your monthly income instead of waiting for the refund check. Last but not least, be careful about overreacting to the news headlines. Saving and investing is for the long term and still important for your financial future.
Q: Where should one start?
A: You and only you can determine what is most important. Those goals and priorities should drive all of your financial decisions.
PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER