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We’re almost two weeks into 2013 and resolutions are starting to break down. I’ve been able to keep a few of mine—I’ve cut my 5K time down by four minutes and I’m doing more creative writing—but others have fallen to the way side. The hardest resolutions for me are financial ones. I have to find and established routine and stick to it. Here are few more financial resolutions to embrace this year.

Use credit cards wisely.

Now that banks and credit card companies are starting to extend more credit, it’s important to remember to use your cards wisely. A few tips:

  • Always pay at least the minimum amount due and never miss payments or due dates. Any of those actions could generate fees or raise interest rates.
  • Don’t overburden any particular card or use more than 30 percent of its available credit – that can really mess up your credit score.
  • If you’ve got outstanding balances on multiple cards, try to pay off the ones with higher interest rates first – that can save you hundreds of dollars over the long term.

Prepare for the worst.

It’s important to build an emergency fund. Try to save at least three months worth of your salary to prepare yourself for any uncertainty in the job market. And be prepared for the worst.

2013 doesn’t have to be an unlucky year, but each year holds surprises both good and bad. Always have a plan of action for the year and remember to check out the budget calculators at Practical Money Skills for Life for inspiration and planning help.

by JohnH

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