HOUSTON – Saving money and starting a budget are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions each year, but many people never even start because the task seems so daunting.
These four baby steps will help you begin to get a handle on your finances for the new year.
Step 1: Request a copy of your credit report
Many protections from the CARES Act have expired, but not this one. You can get a free credit report every week through April here.
Check your report for accounts you don’t use or don’t need. Look for unpaid debts and any errors. Dispute those errors so they don’t impact your credit score.
Step 2: Audit your subscriptions
From streaming services to clothing, look for recurring monthly fees to your bank account or credit card. Cancel any that you aren’t using.
Step 3: Check the interest rates on your credit cards and accounts
Can you get a lower interest rate or a no-interest balance transfer for your credit card debt? Just make sure you can pay off your balance during the 0 interest period. After it expires, credit card companies usually jack up your interest rate.
Step 4: Create a micro-budget
If you start with a budget for each paycheck, assigning every dollar to a bill or savings, you will find it much easier to manage your money than setting an annual or even a monthly budget.