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I Asked 2 Financial Experts for Their Best Money Advice for 2024

Our experts answer readers’ investing questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess investing products). Paid non-client promotion: In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners. Our opinions are always our own.Wanting to make a change in the new year makes sense, but getting started can be the hard part.”You can know that you need to make changes in the way you save your money, in the way that you spend your money, but taking that first step is what keeps many people from even getting started,” Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, author of “Bounce Back: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Resilience,” told me.I asked Cox and Stacey Tisdale, the author of “The True Cost of Happiness: The Real Story Behind Managing Your Money,” what advice they would give to people who want to do better with their money in 2024. Here are three tips they shared:Most people know how much money hits their checking account each month, but at the end of the month, they don’t know where it went. You cannot save money if you do not know where your money is going. “You have to know how you use your money, which means taking a hard look at your spending habits,” Tisdale told me. “If you show me what you spend your money on, I will show you what is important to you.””I have had so many clients that started off saying they don’t have enough money to save money … until I took a look at their bank statement and I saw what they were spending their money on and what they could cut out and immediately start saving,” said Cox.The best thing you can do right now is get out of debt and pay your credit cards off in full each month.”Being in debt is costing you a savings account, an emergency fund, and even your retirement, because your money is going to that debt instead of saving. The best thing you can do for your finances is to get out of debt,” Cox said.Tisdale agreed. “Living in a cycle of debt paralyzes your finances and everything you do goes to servicing that debt,” she said. “I have had clients come to me with 30, 40, $50,000 in debt and yes, you can save while paying down debt, but will you be saving as much as you can? No, because you have to pay off the debt. The best thing you can do is get out of debt as quickly as possible, so that you can work on your finances in total, not just that one part,” Tisdale said.Debt consolidation can be a useful tool to help pay down existing debt at a lower interest rate. Many of the best personal loans will allow you to check your personalized loan rates before you apply, allowing you to protect your credit score against unwanted inquiries. Get prequalified for loans without impacting your credit score.There is a saying, “no one ever got rich working a 9-5″ and now a 9-5 may not even allow you to cover all of your expenses or live the lifestyle that you want.”I tell everyone that they should have a goal of multiple streams of income,” Cox said. “I myself have several investment properties, I have written multiple books, and I work with corporate partners. This way, I am never reliant on one stream of income.”Starting a business can have a positive impact on your finances, including your taxes and retirement account, Tisdale said. “It can also take the pressure off when the job market is tight or inflation is high,” she continued. “You immediately put yourself in a more financially stable position when you have more than one source of income.”