Money Matters: Holiday Saving

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'Tis the season to be jolly.

It's also the season to watch your cash dash away, dash away, dash away all as we shop for Christmas.

So this might be a good time to review your personal financial goals. Carol Young is a K-State research and extension financial management specialist. She says tracking your expenses for a week or two is a good place to start.

Here are some from young on saving money and helping your bottom line.

1. B.Y.O.B.

Bring your own beverage to work. If you can stay away from the office vending machine, you save up to $250 a year on beverages.

2. Put away the plastic

Credit card balances are basically high interest loans. Young says don't charge more than can be paid in full during a billing cycle, and pay down credit card debt as quickly as possible.

3. Pay yourself first

We've said this before. You need to build a cash reserve for emergency fund. try to set up automatic savings at work so you don't even see the money. You should have at least $1,500 in an emergency fund. As little as $10 a week will yield savings of $520 a year.

4. Pay down debt

If you're getting a tax refund from the IRS, use that money to pay down bills and establish that emergency fund. Don't just spend it a vacation or on a shopping spree.

5. Make saving a resolution

If you like making New Year's resolutions, then make this year's about saving. Make 2012 a time where you move toward financial stability and security.

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