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If you've noticed your bank account is a little low (and your pants are a bit tighter), it may be time for an annual review of your spending habits. "Pay close attention to your annual spending report. These year-end reports are often ignored by credit card users, but they can actually tell you a lot about the type of lifestyle you live," says Joshua Heckathorn, blogger and CEO of Creditnet.com, a site that offers unbiased reviews of credit cards and credit report products for consumers. "Review them closely to make sure you're not spending a large percentage of your annual spend eating out, which could be one of the main reasons why you're having trouble shedding those last few pounds."
Take action: Schedule an annual personal inventory check. Pick a date you'll remember (like your birthday) and spend a few minutes reviewing important info like your credit report or annual spending report from your credit card company. Look for patterns in your spending habits that directly relate to your waistline—drinks out with clients and late-night dinners with friends—and come up with realistic strategies to scale back for the upcoming year. Consider meeting clients or friends for a boutique fitness class or coffee instead of cocktails.
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