4 Good Money Habits That Could Change Your Life

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • The end of the year is a great time for goal setting and dreaming about the future.
  • Credit card interest is toxic for your finances.
  • Checking your credit and speaking with a professional about money can be incredibly helpful.

You're worth it.

As we wind down 2022, it's a good time to sit down and think about the year that's almost passed and set some goals for the upcoming year. I made some big money moves this year, and maybe you did too. The nice thing about improving your finances is that they can in turn impact your life as a whole, leaving you happier, healthier, and more ready to face an uncertain future. Here are four good money habits to develop, as well as how they can change your life for the better.

1. Paying your credit card balances in full every month

The impact this can have on your bank account can't be overstated, because credit card interest is expensive. Unfortunately, life happens, and sometimes it's unavoidable if you end up in a bad financial situation or don't have savings to cover an emergency bill.

Carrying (and paying interest on) credit card debt is dangerous because of compound interest. Compound interest can work in your favor when it comes to savings accounts or investment accounts, as you'll earn interest on your money, and that interest then also earns interest. But it will hurt you when it comes to credit cards. If you're carrying a credit card balance, the interest on that will also earn interest… meaning you'll owe more money the longer you owe that balance. This is why it's best to pay off your credit cards in full every month if you can.

How could this change your life?

Aside from the more concrete benefit of saving you money, knowing you'll be paying off your credit cards every month encourages more intentional spending. It's easy to think of credit cards as "free money," since you're borrowing. But if you reframe your thinking and only spend what you can afford to pay off right away, you'll become more mindful with your money.

2. Consulting with a finance professional

The first majorly good thing I did this year for my finances was start meeting with a financial planner. I always figured these professionals were only helpful for people with a lot of money to manage. And that certainly wasn't me. But it ended up giving me a new way to look at my finances and a valuable relationship with someone whose opinion and knowledge I trust.

How could this change your life?

If you have a partner with whom you share finances, you are likely spending some time discussing money between yourselves, and if you have money issues, you may struggle to evaluate them together. A neutral third party can help reframe the conversation in a new way (even if it's a conversation you only have with yourself). And you'll also get access to money advice from a certified professional.

3. Checking your credit frequently

If you don't know the state of your credit, it will make it pretty difficult to work on improving it if you're hoping to, say, buy a house with a mortgage someday. These days, it's a lot easier (and free) to check your credit; you can get free weekly credit reports through the end of 2023. And your bank or credit card company may even have a credit score monitoring tool with tips to improve your credit. Lean on technology for this one. And maybe check your credit report once a month for as long as we can do it for free, and definitely before applying for a credit card or loan, to see what a lender will see.

How could this change your life?

Checking your credit can give you a deeper awareness of your finances, as well as show you in real numbers the impact different things can have on it. It can help you detect fraud. It also sets you up for borrowing success (such a mortgage loan you need at an interest rate you can afford).

4. Automating your savings and investments

Saving money is difficult enough as it is, especially as inflation sticks around and life gets more expensive. If you're able to put aside money in a savings account or save for your future in a retirement account, you want to make the process as painless as possible. To this end, consider setting up automatic transfers when you get paid. The money won't be in your checking account long enough for you to miss it when it's gone, and you won't have to stress about moving it over.

How could this change your life?

Some things in life should be easier, and saving money is definitely one of those things. You'll end up with more money saved for your future and in case of emergencies.

I think it's amazing that when you make one change, it sometimes radiates outward and impacts other things. Try to develop these habits and see how they change your life.

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee! Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow