3 Little-Known New Year's Resolutions That Could Work Wonders for Your Finances

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  • It's common to pledge to cut spending and boost savings at the start of a new year.
  • These financial moves could also go a long way.
  • Keeping on top of your credit card balances and credit reports, and investing even a small amount of money per month are smart moves for your finances in 2023.

These could all yield nice results.

We're getting to the point of the year when a lot of people are committing themselves to New Year's resolutions. And some of those might be financial in nature.

Now you'll often hear people say things like, "I'm going to spend less money this year," or "I'm going to finally pay off my credit cards for good." And boosting your savings is a popular New Year's resolution to aim for. But in the course of putting together your list of pledges, it pays to consider adding these less common but important financial tasks.

1. Check your credit card balances every week

Some people don't glance at their credit card balances until their actual bills come due. And by then, they've already racked up so many charges they can't pay them off in full.

That's why you should pledge to check your credit card balances on a weekly basis in 2023. If you see that they're starting to climb, it might prompt you to spend more carefully for the remainder of the month to avoid landing in debt or adding to existing debt.

2. Check your credit report every quarter

Your credit report is something you probably don't think about too often. But it's an important document to read through.

Your credit report gives you a snapshot of your borrowing history, and it tells you how you present yourself as a borrower. It will list your outstanding loans and open credit card accounts and show how timely you are with paying bills and how much of your available credit you're using.

Checking your credit report once a quarter will not only give you a sense of how you're doing financially in terms of managing and paying loans and obligations, but it might also alert you to fraud you've fallen victim to. If you see an open account listed on your credit report that you don't recognize, you'll know to investigate.

Credit reports will be free on a weekly basis in 2023. But checking yours weekly may be overkill. A quarterly check will generally suffice, though if you're following up on a specific issue, you may want to check every few weeks.

3. Invest $50 a month

Investing thousands of dollars every month may not be doable for you right now. So start small. Commit to investing $50 every month, either in an IRA account or taxable brokerage account, if you're just starting out, and then do your best to ramp up over time. The sooner you begin investing money, the sooner you can start growing it into a larger sum.

If you're not sure how to start investing, one option is to simply buy exchange-traded funds, or ETFs. These allow you to effectively buy a whole bunch of different stocks at once rather than have to choose companies on an individual basis. That may fall better into your comfort zone if you're first learning how to vet a stock.

You may have a number of different New Year's resolutions on your radar for 2023. But while these three may not have made your list initially, it certainly pays to give them a spot.

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