By Lynne Adkins

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The holidays are over but the bills are just arriving, and the cost of nearly everything is going up.

Food costs are rising, gas prices are high, taxes are taking a bigger bite out of your paycheck, and you need to find ways to save.

So, what you can do to make sure your money goes as far as possible?

Jacquelyn Basso, a certified public accountant in Downingtown, Pa., says you should first pay down your credit cards so you’re not paying interest or late fees.

Then, she advises, keep an eye on your other bills.

“You can start auto-paying your bills so that your bills are paid on time and you have no late fees or interest charges — such as utility bills, your cable, your electric, your phone,” she says.

She suggests making a spreadsheet of all your expenses: “how many times do you go out to eat, how many times do you go to the local coffee shop, how many times to you overspend your grocery budget?”

Basso says most people are shocked to see where the money is actually spent each month.

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