For many, the holidays bring fond memories with friends and family. But this gift-giving season can take its toll on your wallet. If you want to take charge of your finances in the coming year, here are some tips to get you started.
Budgeting can seem like a pain, but it can also help you directly impact your spending. Whether you already have one or need to create one, the new year is a good time to track where your money goes each month. An easy way to do this is through a budgeting app, like PocketGuard or YNAB.
While it may seem like saving money is hard to do, putting some money away each month or with each paycheck can help set you up for the future while also giving you a nest egg to fall back on during any economic downturns.
Pay Credit Cards Off
Paying off your balance each month is ideal, but a LendingTree survey found that only 35% of people pay their balances each month in full. The most important thing is to make your payments on time. Even the minimum payment is better than nothing.
Track Your Credit Score
Services like Chase Credit Journey or CreditWise from Capital One allow you to check your credit score for free. By checking in monthly, you can see what’s impacting your score.
Make an Appointment With a Credit Counselor
The holidays can leave you in debt, so if you’re looking for a way to get back on track but aren’t sure where to start, make an appointment with a credit counselor. A counselor will review your finances, help you create a budget, and provide information to enhance your financial education. They can also enroll you in a debt management program, where they’ll work with your creditors to reduce your interest rate and consolidate your credit cards into one affordable monthly payment.
Getting back on track financially is no easy feat, but by following these tips and getting help if needed, you can get back in control.
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