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Learn how to improve your finances this year

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‎WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A popular New Year's resolution is to improve finances. Certified financial planner Ross Marino says the key to success is saving.

In an interview for Good Morning Carolina, he said, "First, I would either begin or increase retirement savings, or, for that matter, any type of savings. Few people make a decision to save every month. Most decide to save or invest money, and then automate the process."

Marino explained, "Perhaps they contribute to a 401(k) that is automatically deducted from their paychecks. Or they set up a draft to have money moved from their checking accounts to a savings account. Either way, the decision was made to start saving, and automation took over from there."

He says paying down debt is a smart choice too. To learn how to decide if you can afford to increase car payments, mortgages or other payments, watch his full interview. You'll also find more money-saving tips.

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Don't insist on feeding your

Don't insist on feeding your champagne appetite when you've only got a beer budget.

I know someone with at least two huge flat screen tvs, the latest gaming systems, laptops for each family member, cell phone for each family member and at least an ipad or two. They have digital cable, go on a couple of vacations a year and have to borrow from their parents and their children in order to pay their bills. I am talking about children under the age of sixteen who were forced to put all birthday and Christmas money into savings accounts. Add on her numerous trips to the emergency room and hospital to insist on treatment for medical conditions which do not exist and you have a financial disaster. The husband busts his backside while she sits on hers.

The point of the story is to say that people just need to learn what is needed as opposed to what is desired and spend accordingly.

It isn't rocket

It isn't rocket science........make your lifestyle fit your income rather than trying to make your income fit your lifestyle. Save 10% of your pay every month.