This week I wrote an article over at Enemy of Debt, "No More Frivolous Spending!". I sparked some great conversations about a topic many of us overlook, evaluating our spending. How could you possibly know what's wrong with your finances if you don't look at the root of the problem?

Lying about your spending habits either to your partner or worse, yourself only allows things to spiral out of control. So start off 2013 right by tracking your expenses and finding out where your money is going. Chances are there is a lot of room for improvement and new habits you can foster this year.

Instead of dwelling on the negatives facing us in 2013; fiscal cliffs, no raises and higher gas prices find your happy place at home. Cut out frivolous spending and make room for debt payoff, savings, and maybe even that vacation you've been dreaming of.

By saying no to your daily afternoon red bull, you just might find yourself on a beach somewhere next holiday season. (Calculation based on $3.42 daily red bull times 365 days = $1248.30 enough for a tropical vacation J )

Some of my favorite posts from this week on the topic to help you get started.

  • Stop Lying to Yourself About What You Spend @mjtm "I don't care if you decide to lie to me about your personal finances but I am shocked how many people lie to themselves about the very basics that make up their personal finance world."
  • Money Lies And The Devil @budgetsaresexy "Charging something now telling yourself you'll pay it later when you get paid . Wanting something for so long that you just "had" to buy it when it went on sale. Telling yourself your $5,000 credit card debt is fine because others have $30,000+! Telling yourself it's all okay because you're not spending it on "frivolous stuff" Believing your paycheck isn't enough.
  • Don't Let Honey Boo Boo's Mom Show You Up @iAmKevinMcKee "June Shannon (Honey Boo Boo's mom) is smart enough to know that her 15 minutes of fame won't last forever and she is putting every penny she earns from the show into trust funds for her four daughters. Every. Single. Penny."
  • Common Examples of Penny Wise, Pound Foolish @onemoneydesign "Sometimes it's easy to get caught up with frugality and saving but lose sight of the bigger picture. Some might say this is penny wise, pound foolish. You think you're making smart decisions to save, but end up spending more in the long run. So, I was trying to think of some examples and realized I've probably encountered most of these myself."
  • A 12-Month Plan to Revitalize Your Finances @doughroller "With the start of a new year, it seems appropriate to think about how we can make 2013 a financial success. But rather than making some New Year's Resolution about getting out of debt that we won't keep, let's look at a month-by-month plan instead. By breaking down our goals into smaller pieces, we are much more likely to accomplish them. So below is a 2013 monthly guide for your finances. Of course, feel free to change the order of these goals or to add your own."
  • You Need a Budget (YNAB) Review: A Great Application for Keeping Your Spending in Check @moneysmart"If you are the sort of person that wants to take a more active role in your budget, You Need a Budget (YNAB) might be for you. This is a budget application that requires you to pay attention to your spending, and to plan out your spending ahead of time. The point of YNAB is to take charge of your finances by looking ahead and giving every dollar a job."

Suzanne Cramer

Suzanne is a Certified Personal Finance Counselor® and Social Media Specialist for CareOne Services, Inc. She supports the Ask the Expert forums as a coach and writes for A Straight Talk on Debt. Suzanne is a divorced, single mom and lives in Pennsylvania. You can follow Suzanne on Twitter where she shares the latest debt industry news and tips to keep your finances in check @CareOneWorks.

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