Resolutions for 2017

Dec 30 2016 | Written By Veronica Nelson | Minnesota Smart Connection Intern

My Resolutions for 2017

As 2016 comes to an end, it’s important to plan ahead for 2017. What did you want to accomplish in 2016 that you didn’t quite get around to? Start from there and make a list! Below are a few resolutions I’ve been thinking about giving a try for 2017.

Make consistent payments towards your student loans

As a college student, it can be difficult to focus on paying off student loans. But trust me – if you pay off any amount of student loan debt while you’re still in college, your after college self will be grateful! I try to make a payment toward my student debt each month but it can get difficult to remember at times. This year, I plan to set a reoccurring alarm at the end of every month reminding me to make as large of a payment towards my student loans as I can.

Improve your credit score

Your credit score can always be better. The easiest way to increase your credit score is to pay off your credit card on time and in-full each month. Start with something simple, like charging only your groceries and gas to your credit card. When your statement comes at the end of each month, don’t just pay your minimum payment! Instead, pay the full balance on time. Carrying no balance and always paying on time is a sure fire combination to improve your credit score. If you can’t pay your full card balance, just pay as much as you can. Make a plan to eventually get your balance down to zero by the end of 2017!

Make a budget and actually stick to it

Don’t get me wrong, I have a budget and I try my very best to stick to it. But I’ll be the first to admit that I do not always stick to it very well. Over winter break, I plan to sit down and take a look at my monthly budgets from 2016 and adjust accordingly. I’m still a bit of a rookie when it comes to budgeting, but I am quickly learning that every month is different for me. Making a different budget at the beginning of every month may be the best way to actually stick to my budget. Who knows!? Try a few different things and find the budgeting plan that works best for you!

Eliminate your most unnecessary expense

Look at your previous budgets. What’s the one thing that you spend the most money on that you could live without? Try cutting a few different expenses and figure out what works best. My most unnecessary expense is probably getting coffee on campus. I could save around $40 a month if I just made my coffee at home instead. Every dollar counts when you’re on a college student budget – am I right?!

Annually review your credit report

Most people are aware of their credit score, but not many people know that they need to look at their credit report as well. I know I looked at mine for the first time this year! Thanks to Credit Karma you can check your credit report for free once each year. You can also check your credit report through online banking on rcu.org. So why do you need to check your credit report? To make sure there are no discrepancies. This can help you ensure that your identity does not get stolen.

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2017?