Experts provide budgeting tips to start off the new year

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- 2021 means a fresh start! Some may have made goals of fitness and wellness or maybe even…financial wellness. After a difficult year, many people are now looking for ‘smart spending.’ ABC57 spoke with financial advisors to hear what you need to know about how to start saving – today.

Financial advisors at the Financial Resource Group, located in Mishawaka, say the first step to smart budgeting? Having a plan. Certified financial planner, Paul Farthing, explains people’s biggest mistake is not sticking to their financial goals.  Financial planning can include everything from paying off debt, to saving for your child’s education, to tax free investing, it all depends on people’s current situations.

But Farthing explains there is one thing in common for all those seeking financial advice, all of this starts after one simple step.  

“Keep track of your finances for one whole month. If you can do a week that’s fine but I find a month gives you a much better picture, so I really like to know from my clients what are your monthly expenses. So that’s a great place to start is knowing how much is going out per month how much is coming in, knowing your net cash flow,” says Farthing, Owner of Financial Resource Group.

Now, what about those who maybe receiving the $600 stimulus check?

Farthing says some could consider using the money to pay off debt, and it all depends on someone’s personal situation.  He recommends, however, if at all possible to still consider saving as much as you can.

“It has been a rough year for a lot of people, a lot of people are occurring debt they never thought they would be in this situation,” says Farthing. “So if you are in a position where you can put that away and put down some debt with it or save it or maybe put $300 toward debt and $300 to a Roth IRA.”

If you are looking for further financial guidance, you can find resources through the Financial Resource Group here.  

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