Saving money in SoCal: Expert tips to lower debt, prepare for retirement

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Housing and gas prices have made it difficult for people in Los Angeles County to save money.

We decided to talk to a finance expert and found out how you can save money.

Saving early was one of the biggest suggestions made by financial advisor Cory Chapman of EFC Wealth Management.

Many were in debt in their 20s with student loans and/or credit card debt, according to Chapman. He recommended the best way to get around that debt was to pay off the lowest amount owed as well as paying off the minimums on all credit cards owed.

Maxing out your credit cards on the other hand, was not recommended, according to Chapman. Instead, he suggested to "trick yourself into saving," with the following rules:

1. Implement a 24-hour rule. Wait at least a day before deciding on a big purchase. If you want to buy something that costs a lot and is important to you, it will still be important to you 24 hours later.

2. Make it Automatic. Automatically have funds deducted from your paycheck into a savings account.

3. Max out your 401(k). Put as much money into your tax-free retirement plan as possible.

4. Delay Social Security. Delaying when you start taking your benefits could give you a greater amount, up to eight percent, when you do start taking them.
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