Baton Rouge CFA: Forget fiscal cliff and focus on your own money

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When it comes to finances, there's one topic on everyone's mind: the pending fiscal cliff.

While the impact of the nation's possible financial plunge can't be underestimated, local experts say there are better things to turn your attention to.

"You hear a lot about the fiscal cliff and the end of the world is coming. Forget about all that. That is out of your control," said certified financial analyst Fred Dent.  "Think about what you can control: savings, reducing debt, moving forward. The world is not going to end; you're going to be ok. Get your ship in order."

If you are getting close to your own personal fiscal cliff, Dent says your New Year's resolution should start with your pocketbook.

"What I would propose is to resolve today, before the ball drops at Times Square, today that you will get out of debt in 2013 if you do have debt, and restart if you stopped your savings plan."

Savings can be as simple as setting aside some of your paycheck each month, or investing in your 401k.

"Number one you get a tax deduction for everything that you put in, and number two; many employers will match the money that you put in your 401k, which means you get an added bonus and a super charging your savings," said Dent.

However, experts say before you move into a new financial year, you must tackle your debt by setting up and sticking with a budget, or by teaming up with an agency designed to reduce debt.

"Debt is corrosive. It's like carbon monoxide. It's colorless, it's odorless, it will eat you alive, it will kill you," said Dent.

So, while Washington continues to cruise towards the fiscal cliff, you can take control of your personal financial future.

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