New Year resolutions for financial health

Credit card debt

Resolve to cut credit card debt in 2012. Image: meddygamet/Flickr/CC BY

The end of the year is only a few days away. Now is the time to think about ways to improve your fiscal outlook for the coming year. In these times of financial hardship, it is especially imperative to watch every dollar and get the most out of your money. These simple rules will help in developing healthier financial habits for a more prosperous 2012.

Setting goals

We can’t get to where we want to be without setting a course. Sit down and write out exactly what you want to achieve financially for the year. Try to be as specific as possible. Then determine ways to achieve those goals and work toward it with specific actions every month. Couple these goals with a solid budget and a strong regimen of savings, and your next year looks richer already.

Paydayloans can mean avoiding overdraft fee debt.

Check your credit score

Many websites offer free credit reports. These reports are used by banks and credit card companies and even some employers to determine your creditworthiness. You are allowed one free report from each of the three reporting bureaus per year. Check it for mistakes that count against your score. Experts say up to 70 percent of credit reports contain errors that can be fixed.

Create a budget

Get your bank and credit card statements for the last three months. Sit down and carefully figure out where your money is going. Categorize your expenses by different types, such as utilities, entertainment and transportation costs. Determine which things you can cut back on and which ones you can’t. Determine affordable monthly allowances for each category, and stick to it. Don’t forget to leave some room for savings.

Start an emergency fund

Life has a way of slamming us with unexpected expenses at the most inconvenient times. A savings account or a money market fund will save the day during those times and keep us on budget. Try to put a little into the fund from every paycheck or source of income.

Chip away at debt

If past debt is an issue, talk to your debtors and see if they can’t be refinanced or reduced. Then, as part of the monthly budget, put something toward your debts every month. Old debts, like student loans and credit cards, will grow and overwhelm you without constant diligence. And, if possible, get rid of those credit cards next year.


Daily Finance

Previous Article

« Picking stocks is better left to the indexes

Stock Market

We all like to believe that we are capable, intelligent individuals that know the best for our situation. Statistics, however, have shown that when it comes to investing, letting the market be our guide is the smartest decision. Historical investor performance Dalbar, which is a financial services market research firm, compared data [...]

Next Article

Repair or replace | A home appliance guide »


Home appliances, from small to large, represent a huge investment for most people. The financial difference between repairing or replacing particular appliances can make the difference between a great investment or a terrible one. No credit check payday loans can help you repair or replace today. The warranty jackpot If your appliance has [...]