Find your spending hot spots

When you’re trying to get your day-to-day finances on track, don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, start by zoning in on “hot spots” — areas where you are spending the most.

It helps to look at your expenses in spending categories. Start with the area that you feel needs the most work and look for ways to reduce spending. Set a target: For example, you might aim to trim entertainment spending by $10 a week.

Start by checking out the ideas in the Reduce Spending section of this site. Talk to friends — are there ways they’ve cut down or that you could help each other save? Check out websites, books and magazines for thrifty ideas.

Once you’ve cooled down your hot spot, give yourself a pat on the back — and look for the next one.