Tips to help you keep your 2009 financial resolutions

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The new year often brings a resolve to save more and spend less. That could be especially true during these difficult economic times, but it is a resolution you can keep.

For some people saving money can be a chore, especially with all the sales people can take advantage of right now. But according to Robert Telford, the President of the Advanced Financial Group in Lufkin, saving doesn't mean you have to put aside 4 or 500 dollars a month, for it to be effective.

"I always say take a bite size. Even if you did not start saving but fifty dollars a month in a savings account, then you're gonna eventually build up to a thousand dollars" says Telford.

It's great to save, but paying the bills can keep people from setting aside money; however prioritizing those debts is key to staying finacially stable.

Telford advises that, "If you have a lot of credit card debt right now, I think it's just as important to put away extra money to try to retire that debt because with the interest rates, those credit cards are paying, its hard... You're not going to get that kind of return in the market or in a savings account".

Another tip is to take advantage of the retirement account provided by your company. It's one of the easiest ways to save. And while many people may be thinking twice about investing with the market looking scary, it can still be a good choice for you.

"I don't think america's over with" reaffirms Telford. "Do I think this is gonna be a tough year for 2009? I think it will, but I think there are some great buys out there for people that's got the time and the money to wait it out. I just think in a few years you will be rewarded for that."

And if you're comfortable investing, diversify your choices. "The younger you are, surely,the more risk you can take. The older you are, if you got enough money, you can afford some risk, you just don't put everything in the same thing" says Telford.

So whether you're saving or investing this year, remember...

"Saving is a frame of mind and the way you change your frame of mind is you practice and you stay consistent with it".