Taking control of your personal finance

Managing your money isn't always easy.

"One very basic thing is that people don't usually budget," New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas said.

She said that one has to stick to a budget, build up savings, and learn to manage one's credit in order to be financially stable.

"We see that people are accumulating large amounts of credit card debt," Salas said, adding that the U.S. is in the middle of a student loan debt crisis.

"We have a million adult New Yorkers that have collectively close to $35 billion in student loan debt," Salas said.

For about 10 years, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs has been offering free financial counseling and also more than 20 financial empowerment centers in the city.

The counselors are trained professionals that work one-on-one with individuals and help them tackle debt, improve their credit, create a budget, open a bank account, save and plan for the future, and more.

"Since 2008, we have already served over 50,000 thousand New Yorkers—we just last week hit our 100,000th counseling session," Salas said. "Altogether, we've helped New Yorkers reduce their debt by close to $55 million."

To find a financial empowerment center near you, all you have to do is either log on to the consumer affairs website, call 311, or you can even text "talk money" to 42-033. The services are free and some of the financial counselors do speak more than one language.


SPECIAL STUDIO GUEST: Rebecca Walser, the author of "Wealth Unbroken: Growing Wealth Uninterrupted by Market Crashes, Taxes, and Even Death"; Walser, a tax attorney and a financial consultant, shared some personal finance tips.