Home > Personal Finance > How to Make Your Money Resolutions Stick

Comments 0 Comments

How to Make Your Money Resolutions StickAt the beginning of every year, many people create New Year’s resolutions to help them develop good habits in different areas of their life — like losing weight, quitting smoking and getting more exercise. We outlined a few credit-related resolutions to help you develop better credit habits. Hopefully you added a few of those to your own and have scheduled time weekly to work on those resolutions.

But here’s the problem: Four out of 10 people give up on their New Year’s resolutions, according to a recent poll. Often, people pursue their resolutions with diligence in the first few weeks of the year, and then grow weary of the extra focus and let them go. (Just ask anyone who goes to the gym regularly — they’ll tell you that the gym is packed in the first two weeks of January and then it goes back to normal for the remaining 11 1/2 months of the year.) And this decision could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

[Related Article: 7 Gifts You Should Give Yourself]

Free Credit Check & MonitoringThat’s because there is a very real cost to dropping good credit habits. Here are some approximate numbers to illustrate what I mean: A lower credit score can make a difference in the interest rate you get on a mortgage. Think about it — a 1% bump in the interest rate you pay can add an additional $200 to your monthly payment for an additional $50,000 in interest over the lifetime of a 30-year, fixed mortgage of $200,000.

Those are example numbers — not an exact quote — but they illustrate the cost of the decision to drop good credit habits. Keeping track of your credit score is a quick indicator of whether you’re on track to save money in the long run, and one way to do that is to check your score for free using the Credit Report Card once a month.

[Free Resource: Check your credit score and report card for free before applying for a credit card]

If you have already adopted some New Year’s resolutions to boost your creditworthiness, you took a smart step toward making improvements in your credit habits. However, those good credit habits are now at risk of being dropped. Here’s how to avoid the costly result of dropping your resolutions. Check in with yourself on Jan. 15, when the excitement of your resolutions might be starting to fade:

1. Mark the date on your calendar. Remind yourself to push through that date and stick with your plan. (While you’re at it, mark Jan. 31 on your calendar to check in with yourself again).

2. Create post-Jan. 15 action steps. You can do these in the next 2 to 3 weeks to help you move forward on your credit habit resolutions. You’ll be less likely to drop your good credit habits if you know exactly what needs to happen.

3. Remind yourself of the cost of dropping your resolutions. Although the above numbers might not be the exact numbers for you, understand that choosing to ignore good credit habits means that Jan. 15 is the day that you choose to spend tens of thousands more on your next mortgage.

It is startling to think about the numbers in this way, but pushing through the January resolution-dropping phase can help you achieve your credit goals and can save you a lot of money over time.

[Credit Cards: Research and compare credit cards at Credit.com]

Image: showbizsuperstar, via Flickr

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team