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Fiscal Resolutions For The New Year, Part 1

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A new year can also mean a new "financially fit" you. NY1's Shazia Khan takes a look at some popular fiscal resolutions and filed the following "Money Matters" report.

Each year millions of Americans resolve to get more financially fit. So our next few segments will feature experts sharing their top New Year's resolution for various financial goals, starting with the perennial favorite: Getting out of debt.

Chris Dlugozima, community relations coordinator for the not-for-profit GreenPath Debt Solutions, says to reduce debt, resolve to list the debts you have, complete with balance, payment info and interest rates and then make a monthly budget.

"It's imperative that you don't take on new debt and so you have to have a good sense of where your money is going, how much you're making and hopefully get in a position where you can balance your budget, even have money leftover to more aggressively tackle your debt," Dlugozima says.

A big part of financial freedom includes protecting your assets. So this year, resolve to not become an easy target for identity theft. The federal trade commission or FTC says it's the top complaint year after year.

Karen O'Connell, an attorney with the FTC, says you can protect yourself by opening your mail everyday.

"Make sure that your regular bills are coming on time. If they are not, contact your creditor, find out if perhaps somebody has changed your address or changed anything else on that account," recommends O'Connell. "If you get bills that you don't normally receive make sure you contact the creditor and find out what those are about. Somebody may have applied for a new account in your name. Also invest in a shredder."

If you have some extra money and are looking to invest this year, Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of Learnvest.com, says resolve to have a plan.

"Before you go out and start buying stocks, what are you trying to do with this money? Are you trying to pay off loans? Are you trying to buy a home in three years? Are you trying to invest for your kids' 529 plan? What's your goal? And from there then you can construct a detailed yearly and monthly plan," Von Tobel says.

For more financial new year's resolutions, be sure to catch our next "Money Matters" report in the coming days.

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