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Television personality and AZfoothills.com columnist Nadine Toren is scouring the area, finding savvy Valley features, bringing readers “on the scene.” Every day she’ll introduce you to celebrities, athletes, and give you an inside look into local events and hot spots. She'll touch on topical issues, and keep AZ fans posted on all the big talkers around town.

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Pinching pennies?  Is your wallet on empty?  Check out these money-saving tips to get ahead, courtesy of the Valley's A-list financial guru. 

It’s a new year, new you; however, financial problems seem to linger.  Sound familiar?  Well, if you’re sick of your credit score or if you’re just trying to stash some cash, financial expert Sharon Lechter is here to help. 

And take it from Sharon--she has quite an impressive resume. 

Sharon was the co-author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and also wrote Think and Grow Rich’s savvy sequel, Three Feet From Gold. (The 2009 money-smart read was ranked Wall Street Journal’s best-seller.)  Her most recent project is re-vamping Napoleon Hill’s well-known manuscript, Outwitting the Devil.  She’s been featured on top-notch media outlets like CNN, Forbes.com, MSN Money, and The Chicago Tribune.  She’s also a philanthropist, educator, international speaker, licensed CPA, wife, and mother.  Sharon even founded Pay Your Family First, a financial education organization. Simply put: Sharon knows her stuff.

January is undoubtedly an overwhelming month when all those holiday bills roll in.  I’ll admit, I, like many people, prefer hiding from pesky bank statements, but Sharon says we all must face the music.  While uncertainty can be paralyzing, taking control is empowering—she says you’ll get a boost of self-confidence when you tackle tough monetary situations. 

To get back on track, Sharon says start with being realistic; in other words, know where you’re at.  In order to restore your bank account, you need to set reasonable goals and make small changes.  (Yes, a little goes a long way over due time.) 

Sharon says it’s all about getting financially fit; however, defining what that means varies among each individual. For one person, it may mean having no debt; for another, it could be having an extra $200 at the end of each month. Therefore, having a plan and being committed will better your chances of achieving financial goals.

So to save some dough, the financial guru is dishing her money-saving secrets—easy-to-do tactics to grow your bank account.  Yes, we all know to home-brew coffee, eat out less, cancel cable, and carpool to the office; but truth is, there are simple ways to save green that don’t impact quality of life.