Put that bonus somewhere else: It can be hard to save money, especially if your budget is tight already. You can make it easier by focusing your savings on any raises, promotions or other windfalls that come your way. If you place half of any of that extra cash into savings, you’ll be able to build your nest egg without hurting your current budget. And if you have it automatically withdrawn, you won’t even see it. Bankrate’s calculators can show you how much your savings will be worth if you invest it. With the other half, you can add to your discretionary income and spend on purpose.
Make a financial resolution — and keep it: I don’t care what it is. The important thing is to have one, to be successful with it and let it build your financial confidence. Write down your resolution and place it somewhere in sight. You might save it as your wallpaper on your computer or phone. Place a copy of it on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Put your resolution any place where you will be reminded on a daily basis of your commitment. Some of my favorite suggestions for resolutions are:
Check one of your credit reports from each of the major credit bureaus every four months. Dispute any incorrect information.
Improve your credit score by 20 points or more.
Commit to saving a set amount of money.
Pay off one debt that you have been carrying for more than six months.