Jeanette Pavini of Says Savers Need to Go Back to Basics in 2015

GOBankingRates’ fourth annual “Best Personal Finance Expert” competition is heating up; if you’re just tuning in, 12 finalists, handpicked by our staff and editors across the top financial media outlets, are battling it out to be named 2014’s top money expert. We’re releasing one nominee bio a day, along with our candidates’ answers to the question: “What is the No. 1 thing Americans can do to set themselves up for financial success in 2015?”

Today, GOBankingRates is featuring‘s savings expert Jeanette Pavini. Pavini is a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and MarketWatch, and was the chief consumer reporter for CBS 5 in San Francisco, where she won two Emmys (among other awards). You can show your support for Pavini by voting for her in the poll below.

Vote for Jeanette Pavini as the “Best Personal Finance Expert” of 2014

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Pavini’s tenure in finance journalism has put her both in front of and behind the camera. During her stint at CBS from 2000 to 2008, she developed the backbone for her award-winning half-hour consumer show, “The Real Deal,” which ran for a decade on CBS and NBC, securing eight Press Club Awards for Best Program.

She’s also the face of, the 40th-largest website in the United States, where she dispenses money-saving tips and anchors the “Better Ways to Save” segment on “The Better Show.”

As a frequent contributor to’s The Good Stuff blog, Pavini shares tips on everything from being a savvy shopper during the holiday season to creative ways to donate to non-profit organizations.

Jeanette Pavini’s No. 1 Tip for Financial Success in 2015

We asked Pavini for her best money-saving tip for the new year. Here’s what she had to say:

“Knowledge is power!” Pavini said. “And 2015 is the year to create change and become empowered! Over the years, there has been a common thread in hundreds of the letters I have received from viewers and readers. These consumer concerns have had a great influence on the stories I’ve done. For most people, it’s not a lack of wanting to improve their financial situations, it’s a lack of know-how. They become so overwhelmed and confused by the endless number of the options and resources available. Consumers feel as if they are never going to dig out of the hole, so they become discouraged and simply give up.

“The No. 1 thing people can do to set themselves up for financial success in 2015 is to go back to basics and to not allow it to become complicated. It all comes down to spending less and saving more. But that’s where the confusion comes in; there are hundreds of ways you can do just that. The trick is finding the ways that work for you. Consumers should be aware that it’s not just the big savings that matter. Change your mindset and realize that no savings is too small, they all add up. Educate yourself to really understand where you are spending your money. Have a budget that includes all of your expenses. Write it out. Know it inside and out. Learn what areas in your budget you actually have control over: groceries, entertainment, personal care. Have a plan and keep it simple. And don’t feel defeated when it comes to finances, see every penny saved as a small victory. Don’t feel overwhelmed, see every challenge as an opportunity to create change.

“Make 2015 the year you feel empowered to take control of your financial life. Let this be the year that you create a healthy and happy relationship with your money!”