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This article was originally published on Citi’s Women & Co.

In just a few short weeks, we will once again set our clocks back one hour when we go to bed as daylight saving time comes to an end. For my family, this ritual marked the “official” the start of the holiday season and, frequently, loss of financial reason and tons of post-holiday financial regrets. How can you avoid falling back on the good financial habits you’ve practiced until now? Here are some great tips from some of my favorite money minds:

Adam Riemer

Adam Riemer

1. Cut down on the “waste,” says Adam Riemer, a contributor to Manilla.com. “I think every family should find where their wasted money goes to, if there is a pattern that correlates with it and how you can shift it so that your lifestyle doesn’t affect your wallet. For example, when I travel extensively, I miss my kitchen and cook like crazy when I get back. But, when I’m home for an extended period, the novelty of cooking wears off and I order delivery more. By knowing this, I decided to launch a cooking blog that helps me try creating a recipe two or three times a week before I post it to make sure it works, saving me money (and calories) from ordering delivery and helping me eat healthier.”

2. Start a quarterly family finances meeting, which is something my parents did with us, advisesCarmen Wong Ulrich, Industry Professor, Finance & Risk Engineering, NYU PolyTech. “You don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty of what you earn but talk about family expenses and goals such as ‘how much does this after-school activity cost per year’ to ‘where would we like to go on vacation.’  If you have tweens or teens, encourage them to contribute in some way by either not buying that one pair of jeans this month to helping out at home, saving on cleaning or landscaping services. You live as a family, you should plan as a family. Your kids will thank you, especially when they head to college and start paying their own bills!”

3. Set an annual savings goal, suggests Manisha Thakor, Founder of MoneyZen Wealth Management. “Start with whatever you can and then most importantly, find a way to automate it in the new year. But just as you don’t hit a fitness goal on day one, you don’t hit a savings goal on the first day either. This can mean mean signing up for or increasing your contribution to your employer’s retirement plan or setting up an IRA and having part of your paycheck sent to it. For your longer-term needs, consider transferring a set amount each month from your checking account to savings. The easier you make if for yourself, the greater the odds that it will happen.”

Andrew Schrage

Andrew Schrage

4. Make all your contributions before the end of the year, recommends Andrew Schrage, co-owner of MoneyCrashers.com, in particular the ones that will give you a tax deduction. “This includes both traditional IRA contributions and charitable contributions to IRS-approved organizations. For 2013, the contribution limit for IRA contributions is $5,500 for most people, and the limits for charitable contributions vary. Of course, you should consult the IRS website for a list of details.”

Jonathan Clements

Jonathan Clements

 

 

5. Apply the smile rule to guide your spending, says Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Education at Citi Personal Wealth Management. “Many of us spend thousands of dollars each year on items that give us scant pleasure. With that in mind, think back on all your discretionary spending in 2013 — the furniture you bought, the charitable contributions you made, the trips you took, the home remodeling projects, the gifts you gave, the meals out, the new electronic gadgets. Which ones make you smile when you recall them and which do you remember with a shrug? You might use that to guide your spending in 2014.”

StacyFrancis-thumb-151x227-1591

Stacy Francis

6. Live within your means, track your money and save for unplanned emergencies, encourages Stacy Francis, CEO of Francis Financial. “Use free resources to track your spending habits such as mint.com. Being aware of your spending and creating set budgets will help families stay on track and not overspend during the holidays. The number one financial mistake families make is not having enough of a safety net, so make sure you have enough funds set aside in savings to sustain your lifestyle for 3-6 months.”

7. Take some time to review the past year, recommends Caryn Effron of GoGirl Finance, and get everything in shape for the year ahead. “Look back at your expenses to see if there are opportunities to trim costs and save more. It’s also a good time to make sure your financial paperwork (such as wills) is up to date.”

Linda Descano serves as a Managing Director and Head of Digital Partnerships, Content and Social for North America Marketing at Citi. In this role, she is responsible for creating and delivering competitively differentiating consumer engagement experiences in digital and social channels to drive brand health and business goals. Linda is also President and CEO of Women & Co., a service of Citi that brings women relevant financial content and thoughtful commentary to get them thinking and talking about money. More from Manilla.com: