1. Know where your money goes
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Some people swear by budgeting. Others are happier just tracking their expenses. Whichever you prefer, make sure you can see where your hard-earned money is going, right down to the last nickel. Keeping a careful eye on your spending is critical to getting a grip on overspending.
Don’t worry: Budgeting and expense tracking need not be painful. A program like YNAB (short for “You Need a Budget”) will walk you through starting a budget or an expense log and automate much of the process after that.
It can also pay for itself: According to YNAB, new users save $600 by their second month of using the program and $6,000 by the end of their first year, on average. To learn more, check out “How to Automatically Track Your Spending and Goals.”