These days, families have less slack in their budgets than before, according to recent research by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Household spending has risen 25 percent or more in the past two decades, even adjusting for inflation, yet incomes have not kept pace, the study said.
In addition, previous Pew research found that one in three American families have no savings.
"This time of year is great for trimming your expenses," said Rod Griffin, the director of public education for Experian. "Getting ready for vacation season could be a great time for a short-term financial diet to reduce those debts and be in good shape by the summer."
A realistic goal, like a vacation, is a great place to start, said Joe Eppy, president of financial firm The Eppy Group. "Set goals you are going to hit, because you can always increase them later."
Just like you would with a fitness tracker, use an app like Mint or Credit Karma, to keep tabs on your spending and find where some expenses can be cut.
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"Examine your budget closely to determine exactly where you are spending your money and where each dollar goes," he said. "Understanding how you spend will help you understand where improvements must be made."
Then, "look at what you need versus what you want," Griffin said. "In order for a spending diet to work, you have to be honest with yourself."
Identify any items that you don't really need, such as your morning gourmet coffee, or going out to lunch, and cut those items out during your spending diet, he said.
"Redirecting $10 a day towards saving is $300 a month," said David Bach, author of "The Automatic Millionaire."
(It's worth noting that investing $300 a month at 4 percent interest would amount to $110,000 in savings in 20 years.) "That amount of money in a retirement account is more than the average American saves," he said. "It can change your whole life, financially."