If you were broke all throughout 2013 -- living from paycheck to paycheck -- it is time to do something about it in the new year.
Some of us think we are meant to be successful in many areas of our lives but simply mumble "that's just the way it is going to be" when thinking about our debt and other financial disappointments.
Perhaps we have a long family history of failing to build up adequate savings. However, you don't have to remain broke just because prior generations in your family failed to be frugal, or to save smartly. Enough is enough: Plan your way out of poverty.
You can create great wealth for your family through simple moves, such as saving for your children's college education through a 529 plan, or investing in low-cost index funds while saving for a future home purchase.
Stop the waste
It is amazing how much money we waste as a nation. The harsh reality is that we are blowing cash on things that will not matter in the next few months, let alone the next few years. The only way to stop being broke is to stop wasting.
Think of ways to reduce waste and cut back on expenses that are not necessary. If you go to a movie every week, try skipping that expense at least one time in each month of 2014. If you haven't saved money in a Roth IRA, consider taking a few hundred dollars from this year's clothing budget and earmarking it for retirement.
When building a secure financial future, time is not on our side. The only way to achieve financial goals is to start saving today. This means a new way of thinking and acting in 2014.
To walk the pathway to wealth, start thinking wealthy. This begins with saving today so you can store wealth for generations to come.
Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and professor at Dillard University in New Orleans. She writes a personal finance blog at kemberley.com. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook.