Conn. (WTNH) — Spending less and shopping smarter: that’s the message for at least one specific group of people. We’re Stretching Your Dollar with why people in their 40s and 50s should take the time to find new money-savers this new year.

“If you think about 40s and 50s, it’s really, in many ways, your prime earning years,” personal finance expert Samantha Ettus said. “That is often coupled with a ton of responsibility financially, and in terms of time.”

Ettus said it’s personal for her, which is why she found money savers that have made a difference.

“I just turned 50 so I joined AARP, which I found shocking in terms of how many discounts I could get, even with my $16 membership a year,” Ettus said. “I now go to Exxon Mobile because they have a program through AARP and there’s so many things like prescriptions are now lowered and there’s an eyesight program, which for my failing eyes, has been really helpful for me.”

She said it’s important to ensure you’re on the path to retirement and saving money making any major commitments for your loved ones during this time of life.

“It’s really important to put your own oxygen mask on first, before you incur big expenses like college tuition or a big wedding,” Ettus said.

Now’s the time you’re looking to earn as much as possible for your future. Ettus said it may be time to set a new spending budget for the week and make sure you are, in fact, bringing in more than you’re spending this 2023.

She said you can start by deciding what your budget will be and what you’ll need in the future to have your dream retirement. Then, come up with a plan to start working towards it in baby steps.

Small savings here and there will add up over time.