“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.” -Benjamin Franklin.
The first of the year brings both the promise of new beginnings and the burden of self-improvement. Fueled by the nostalgia of the holidays and armed with a year’s worth of regrets, some 45% of Americans decide to make New Year’s resolutions each January, according to research from the University of Scranton.
We all certainly have our fair share of vices, especially as they relate to money. So it’s unsurprising that financially-themed resolutions are among the most popular made each new year. But the fact that less than 10% of resolution-makers achieve their goals is not a good sign for hopes of improved money management.
Don’t be discouraged, though. WalletHub has your back. Below, you will find a list of the top 10 financial resolutions to make in 2018, along with some helpful tips for making sure they happen. Now, we know it's no longer January, however, making changes in your financial life can happen at any point in the year. Seeing that we are all working on taxes and potentially receiving income tax refund checks, this is the best time to kick-start your year of financial freedom.
Taking care of monthly obligations before letting yourself indulge in any luxury expenses is a helpful budgeting strategy. It gives you a better sense of what you can truly afford and what you can’t. It also helps you avoid ever having a late payment reported to the major credit bureaus, which is one of the easiest ways to damage your credit score. Furthermore, paying your bill early improves your credit utilization, and thus your credit score, by reducing the balance listed on your monthly statement.We recommend setting up two automatic monthly payments from a deposit account: one for right after payday and another for a couple days before your monthly due date. The second payment will help you avoid interest on any purchases made between your first payment and the end of your billing period. If you don’t know when your billing cycle begins and ends, simply check your monthly statement. You can also request to change it to whatever day of the month is best for you.To learn more about keeping your payment train on schedule, check out our 8 Tips For Never Missing A Due Date.