14
Jan

As the new year begins, starting off the new year with a brand new slate may be your main objective. You may have made New Year's resolutions last year, but like many people you may have had some trouble sticking to them. This year may be the year you make the improvements you have set out for yourself. You will have a good feeling when you have done all your new resolutions before the next new year. By sticking to your pledges this year, not only will you start the year off right, but you can improve yourself. One resolution you can keep this year is improving your credit and financial habits.

It is always important to enhance your financial habits and this is a resolution that you can easily do. By sticking to these new habits, you will also be able to improve your credit habits as well. You can also curb overspending and raise your credit score in the process. By trying a few of these tips, you can start 2014 out on the right foot:

Lining out a budget
Creating a budget may seem like a tough task to complete. Going through all of your bills and credit card statements and closely examining your spending habits may not seem like the best way to spend your day, but doing this can help you in the long run.

Improving this financial habit can be a lot simpler than you think. Write down all your expenses, including your credit card. A rule of thumb is to average out your expenses and create a budget around that. It is a good idea to give yourself a little wiggle room in this area in case of an emergency.

Dwindle your balance
As the year progresses, you want to do your best to get your credit card balance down. Tackling debt is always on the top of New Year's resolutions, so it may be the time to do it. There are a few ways you can start to get your credit card balance down. Your first method to try would be to use your credit card sparingly. However, it is still important to use a credit card as it will help you build credit. By using a card moderately, not only will you continue to use the card, but you will also decrease your amount of spending. If you use your credit card for a number of purchases, try decreasing that amount. You can use your credit card for small daily purchases, this will help you use your card and decrease spending.

Along with tackling overspending, you should try to make larger payments on your credit card. By making larger or even more frequent credit card payments, you will be able to get your balance down quickly. When devising a budget, write down your minimum credit card payments. Continue making these payments, as you don't want your credit score to be knocked down a few points because of being late. If your finances are tight at the beginning of the year, start off small. It is much better to start conservatively at the beginning of year. Add a few more dollars to that payment each week and you will see that balance dwindle in no time. Many credit card providers offer automatic payments to credit cards as well. You will not have to worry about the stress of making a credit card payment on time when it is already done for you.

Following improvements
Devising a plan and saying you will commit to it is only half the battle when it comes to improving your financial habits in the new year. In order to make sure you are staying on top of these new goals, follow your progress along the way. By taking a few minutes at the end of each week to see if you have been staying within your budget or reducing your credit card balance, you will be able to see if you have been improving.

Keeping up with good spending and payment habits can be great ways to improve your financial standing during the new year, but you also want to check the state of your credit. As you are progressing in reducing your balance and making credit card payments on time, you want to see what your credit score is. This three digit numerical expression of the state of your credit is one of the most important things banks and other lenders will examine. Lenders and even credit providers will trust you more if you have a higher score. You can stay on top of your credit by checking your annual credit report. This document will give you a rundown of your credit history and score. This is a good way to track your progress and to make sure you are staying on top of your credit.