Want to get more out of your money in the new year? We have a free newsletter for that

Illustration of a hand putting a coin in a piggy bank that's inside a bunker; above are lightning and a tornado.
Disasters happen. With a budget, you’re prepared.
(Jackson Gibbs / For The Times)

A lot of people wake up on the first day of the new year feeling woozy from too much champagne. And soon after that, many find themselves with a financial hangover from the spending frenzy of the holiday season.

Money-related action items such as “make a budget” and “save money” consistently pop during New Year’s resolution-making season, according to Google Trends data. Like a lot of resolutions, however, these are likely to fall by the wayside by mid-month if you don’t have a plan to follow through.

That’s where we come in. Totally Worth It is a newsletter series from the L.A. Times that arrives in your inbox every week for eight weeks. Each installment takes one aspect of managing your money and breaks it down into bite-size pieces. You don’t need to transform your financial life all at once. You can do it in steps.


To start, you’ll learn how to make a budget, including which categories to save for and how to decide how much to spend on things such as groceries. After that, you’ll get deep-dives on such topics as paying off debt, saving up for big expenses such as a wedding or dream vacation, and protecting your financial future.

I’m your host, Jessica Roy. On New Year’s Day 2017, I decided I was sick of stressing out about money. I buckled down and taught myself how to spend less and save more without living like a monk or saying “no” to everything fun. Now, I want to help you do the same thing. Personal finance can’t do everything — I can’t wave a wand and make rent cheaper or forgive student loan balances — but it’s better to be in control of your money than the other way around.

Totally Worth It launched in January 2022, but you can sign up at any time to start your budgeting journey. And Totally Worth It is totally free — you don’t need to be a paid subscriber to receive this newsletter (or any L.A. Times newsletter). If you are a subscriber, though, you can explore all eight editions of the newsletter here.

You can sign up for Totally Worth it on our newsletters page or by entering your email address in the box above. (If you don’t see a box with a sign-up option on this page, try turning off any ad blockers or other browser extensions and then refresh the page. You also won’t see the box if you’ve previously signed up for Totally Worth It — search your inbox or spam folder for “Totally Worth It” to see whether you missed an edition.)