How to be financially fit in 2011

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If you haven’t mapped out a plan for staying financially fit in 2011, you should. I’m Kristin Arnold with’s Personal Finance Minute.

Start by building a budget, and that means tracking your spending. It’s the first step in cutting expenses. You can track spending, using online budgeting tools that help you visualize financial data on a computer screen or your cell phone.

Now that you know where you spend money, you can baby-step your way to saving money. Start small. Consider saving $50 each month by trimming your regular spending, such as your cable bill, cell phone plan or gym membership.

Another way to save is by being smart about how you get or use cash. Some consumers prefer using cash to help avoid unnecessary and impulsive spending. But getting cash from an out-of-network ATM can cost you. Avoid those fees by asking for cash back at grocery and drug stores.

As you shop in-store or online, look for ways to save on your purchases. Find free shipping offers on cyber purchases and coupons on grocery shopping by searching the Internet for promotional codes and discount deals.

For more ways to save money, go to I’m Kristin Arnold.