If you’re faced with mountains of credit card debt in New York, creating a common-sense budget is the first step to safeguarding your finances. A budget will help you save money while also correcting poor spending habits that may have landed you in trouble in the first place. If you’re unsure how to proceed, the following information can help you get on the right track.

For instance, Forbes recommends focusing on specific areas of spending to make the biggest impact. Many people routinely overspend on entertainment, particularly when it comes to eating out or other expenses. In this case, it would be best to cut back entertainment spending and to redirect those funds into a savings account. You can identify problem areas by tracking your spending for about a month and go from there.

Next, designate a portion of your income for saving as soon as you receive your paycheck. Many people wait until their other expenses are taken care of before saving money, but this can actually prevent you from building your savings to a reasonable level. Once you have money put away into a savings account, be sure to keep it there.

Bankrate.com also offers some common-sense budgeting tips. Making a debt payment plan is a good idea, as it will provide you with the proper tools to ensure you can pay off debt while also remaining financially responsible. Credit cards with the highest interest rate should be addressed first. Paying the minimum on these cards will end up costing more in the long-run, thereby impacting your finances negatively. If you’re thinking about debt consolidation, be sure to seek out professional guidance to ensure that this option is in your best interest.