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Many people wake up on the first day of the new year feeling dizzy from too much champagne. And soon after, many find themselves with a financial hangover from the spending frenzy of the holiday season.

Money-related actions such as “budget” and “save money” consistently appear during the New Year’s resolution season, according to Google Trends data. However, like many resolutions, they’re likely to fall by the wayside by mid-month if you don’t have a plan to follow through.

This is where we come in. Totally Worth It is an LA Times newsletter series delivered to your inbox every week for eight weeks. Each installment takes one aspect of managing your money and breaks it down into bite-sized pieces. You don’t have to transform your financial life all at once. You can do it in steps.

To get started, you’ll learn how to budget, including categories to save and how to decide how much to spend on things like groceries. After that, you’ll delve into topics like paying off debt, saving for big expenses like a wedding or dream vacation, and protecting your financial future.

I am your host, Jessica Roy. On New Year’s Day 2017, I decided I was sick of stressing about money. I buckled down and taught myself to spend less and save more without living like a monk or saying no to all the fun. Now, I want to help you do the same. Personal finance can’t do everything, I can’t wave a wand and make rent cheaper or forgive student loan balances, but it’s better to be in control of your money than the other way around.

Totally Worth It launched in January 2022, but you can sign up at any time to start your budgeting journey. And Totally Worth is completely free—you don’t need to be a paid subscriber to receive this newsletter (or any LA Times newsletter). However, if you are a subscriber, you can browse all eight editions of the newsletter here.

You can sign up for Totally Worth it on our newsletter page or by entering your email address in the box above. (If you don’t see a box with a signup option on this page, try disabling ad blockers or other browser extensions, then refresh the page. You also won’t see the box if you’ve previously signed up for Totally Val la sorry: look for “It’s worth” in your inbox or spam folder to see if you’ve missed an edit.)

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