Tips on how you can stay committed to a plan such as paying down debt or building up savings.

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Perhaps you’re spending too much and saving too little. Maybe your debt is getting out of control.

How do you find the motivation and discipline to make changes — and stay the course?

[Related: Single parent is striving to escape the paycheck-to-paycheck trap]

Robin Tan and Landon Tan, the father-and-son team at KMS Financial Services in Kirkland, have plenty of ideas about how you can stay committed to a plan such as paying down debt or building up savings. Here are just a few of their suggestions:

• Calculate how long it will take you to pay off a debt at different rates of payment. Larger installments, of course, dispatch the debt faster. Seeing the numbers and the time frame can be motivating. The device works just as well for saving.

• Write a mission statement for your savings or debt-payment plan. State why you’re doing it, what it means to you and what it means for others. For example, maybe getting out of debt means you will be less stressed and you can be a better provider for your family.

• Reduce your spending by replacing costly activities with cheaper ones. Instead of going to an expensive restaurant, have a picnic lunch in a public park.

• Establish financial goals. Where do you want to be in five years? In 10 years? Write these down.

• Recruit an “accountability buddy,” or someone who will help you stay on track for reaching your goal. This person knows your plan, supports it and can be relied upon to monitor your progress.

• Stay positive. Avoid thinking of your financial plan as penance; rather, think of it as a challenge that puts you in control of your life — and gets you to a better place.