Couple counting money © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc, Blend Images, Getty Images

With the new year approaching, it's time to get your financial house in order.

No matter what mistakes you made in 2013, you get a do-over in 2014. The beginning of the year is a great time to make changes that will boost your bottom line going forward. But before you can make a plan to save money, you have to find out where your money's going. If you use an online budget tool or computer program to track your spending, run some reports and evaluate where your money went. If you don't have any records, write down every penny you spend for a month.

"It's hard to figure out where you're overspending until you know where you're spending," says Jean Chatzky, author of "Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security."

Once you've got a record, do some analysis. The first question, obviously, is whether your outgoing funds exceeds your income. If you've got a mountain of credit card debt, and every month you spend more than you take in, you need make some changes.

"This can happen to smart people, to anybody, to responsible people," says Beverly Harzog, author of the new book "Confessions of a Credit Junkie: Everything You Need to Know to Avoid the Mistakes I Made." Her problems were caused by overspending when she was young, but others have ended up in debt because of job loss, medical problems or other issues beyond their control. Solving the problem, however, is up to them. "It is your problem and you have to fix it, regardless of how it happened," Harzog says.

Even if your expenses don't exceed your income, drilling down into your spending may reveal places you can painlessly cut costs to have more money for retirement, a home down payment or an exotic vacation.

The best spending plan for you may not be the best plan for your neighbor. We've all heard the cliché about cutting out the morning latte, but that isn't going to work for everyone, especially those who never buy lattes. "If you value that takeout coffee – if it puts a little joy in your day – I don't believe that's what you should cut," Chatzky says.

For some people, cutting out the morning latte won't make a dent. They may have to look at more painful cuts, such as moving to cheaper housing or choosing public rather than private schools. "Sometimes the little trims here and there aren't enough," Chatzky says.

Cook more at home. "We eat so frequently on the go these days," Chatzky says. "The evidence is gone before you get home." Anyone who can read can cook, and the Internet is full of websites with easy, healthy recipes.

Save on groceries by shopping store sales and using coupons. It's true that a lot of coupons are for junk food, but that doesn't mean you can't save with coupons, particularly on personal care and cleaning products. Store sales can provide even bigger savings. Many products go on sale every two, three or six months. Watch the sales cycles on products you use, and stock up when prices are lowest.

Look for happy hours and restaurant deals. For many people, drinks and dinner with friends are a big part of socializing. If you don't want to give that up but you want to spend less, find restaurants with 2-for-1 drinks and free or cheap appetizers and make those your dinner. Join restaurant email clubs to get coupons you can use to cut the price of restaurant meals.

Call your cable TV and Internet provider and ask for a better deal. As more users abandon cable and more competitors get into the market, companies want to hang on to customers. That means they're ready to make a deal. You'll get the best deals from the customer retention department, which is where you call to cancel. "The last time I did this, I saved close to $50 a month," says Liz Weston, author of "Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe."

Investigate cheaper cellphone plans. Many carriers are offering new no-contract and pay-as-you-go plans. If you find a plan you like, and your contract is up, ask your existing carrier if it will match the price or give you a better deal.

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