Financial expert Nicole Lapin offers 3 "E's," advice to declutter your finances and mind in 2022

"The first step to any recovery is admitting you have a problem." Lapin also addresses if you should know a co-worker's salary
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- How much money do you make? You know what, it doesn't matter. What matters is how you manage your money, especially after the holiday season and the new year.

Financial expert and New York Times Best-Selling Author Nicole Lapin spoke to ABC7's Reggie Aqui on how to declutter your finances and mind in 2022.

What is a way that we can simplify our finances for 2022?

"Well, the first step to any recovery is admitting you have a problem," the "Miss Independent" author said. "Figure out what your issue is, and maybe you got into debt over the holiday season. You're not alone."

Lapin said come up with a spending plan. She phrases it as a plan instead of a budget "because it doesn't feel as scary like a crash diet."

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"It feels more like an eating plan where you can stick to it. You allow yourself small indulgences. So you don't end up binging later on," she said.

Lapin breaks it down to the three E's:

  • 70% of your budget should go to the essentials: Your food, your housing, your transportation, etc.


  • 15% should go to the "end game" such as your retirement and your savings


  • 15% should go to the extra such as the latte, mani pedi, etc.


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    What about credit card debt?

    "We know people can get out of control when it comes to Christmas. How do we slim that down?," Aqui asked.

    "Have you ever called your credit card company and asked for a better rate? No? Do you know you could do that?," Lapin shared. Well, you can."

    She said the worst thing the credit card company can say is "no."

    "So call your credit card companies, ask for a lower rate, ask for a fee waiver. All of that can help as you're trying to lower down your balances and get your payments under control," she said.

    Lapin also says you can lower the rate of your cable and phone bills and even medical debt.

    "I have gotten so many companies to give me a better rate just by saying I'm going to leave for the competitor," she said. "Ask for a manager."

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    Lapin also answered Aqui's question if it is appropriate to know how much your co-workers make:

    "I say yes. If you don't talk about it, how are you going to make more money? This is an uncomfortable topic but someone has to go first with uncomfortable things."

    "You could write them a letter," laughs Lapin.

    "If we want to negotiate, how are we going to figure out how to do that without knowing the comp of the area? It's like pricing your house, how do you do that without knowing what other houses in the neighborhood cost?," she said.

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