For many, the end of the year marks the end of a heavy spending period. As the new year rolls around, so do resolutions—including getting finances in order.
If you’re resolved to get back on track financially, you might wonder how best to do that, especially if you racked up debt during the holiday season.
Here are five ways to take charge of your finances in the coming year:
Revisit your budget
If you have a budget, it’s a good time to dust it off and update it. A good budget can help you track your spending and household expenses. You can use budget apps, like GoodBudget, EveryDollar, or Honeydue. When you have a budget, you have guidelines and a deeper understanding of your spending habits, including where to cut back.
Dedicate money to savings
Even if you don’t have a lot of leftover money at the end of the month, dedicating a percentage to savings will provide you a cushion to fall back on and a nest egg for the future.
Check your credit card balances
While paying off your credit card balance every month is ideal, a LendingTree survey found that only 35% of people pay off their balances in full each month. If that sounds like you, the most important thing is to make payments on time. Late payments can impact your credit score, so even the minimum payment is better than late or no payment. Setting up auto-pay on your accounts can keep you on track.
Check your credit score
Check your credit score more frequently to keep track of any negative impacts. This way, you can also take immediate action if you become a victim of identity theft. CreditWise from Capital One and Chase Credit Journey allow you to check your credit score for free.
Get credit counseling
If you’re feeling the weight of high credit card debt after the holidays and are overwhelmed, seeking credit counseling can help. A counselor will help you create a budget and provide guidance for future goals. They can also help you start a debt management plan (DMP). When you enroll in a DMP, your counselor will work with your creditors to lower your interest rate and consolidate your credit card payments into one affordable monthly payment.
You can take back control of your financial health by budgeting, saving, and asking for help when needed.
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