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8 Smart Money Moves to Start the New Year Off Right

carefulcents profile picture
Carrie SmithGuest Blogger
January 07, 2017 · 1.8k Views

A brand new year brings hope and refreshes us for the next twelve months. It’s a clean slate to start over with your money and finally achieve those big goals you’ve set for yourself. If you’ve been striving for better financial management here are eight money moves you can make right now to start the new year off right.

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8 Smart Money Moves to Start the New Year Off Right smart money moves icon

1. Update all financial passwords.

updating financial passwords

Source: Visa

Experts suggest that you update your online passwords on a regular basis, and the New Year is a great time to review them. Choose your new mantra for the year and use several variations of this phrase as the new password for all your financial accounts. Make a list of all credit cards, banking information and debt accounts, and then log into each one and update the passwords.


2. Request a free credit report.

credit report

Souorce: Debt.org

Another good money habit to create right now is watching your credit report. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com and request a completely free copy of your credit history, then review it for any errors or misinformation. You may also be able to check your credit report via your credit card or financial institution, as banks such as Chase recently rolled out free credit monitoring services.


3. Adjust your monthly budget.

monthly budget

Source: The Balance

As one year comes to a close and a new one begins it’s time to audit your monthly budget. Take a look at your sources of income and spending habits, then adjust as necessary. Review last year’s spending categories and see what areas can be improved upon in the new year.

This is also a great time to re-evaluate your savings and retirement goals. Doing a quick audit of your financial situation will allow you to see if you’re on track and what areas need to be adjusted.


4. Scan important papers.

files and folders

Source: Reference.com

With tax season around the corner now’s the perfect time to organize your financial papers. Set aside time to scan and upload important documents into your computer, categorizing them into specific files and folders.

Next, shred or scrap the sensitive information once you have a digital copy. This will keep your financial paperwork safe and secure from identity thieves. Just be sure to have a backup of the information on an external hard drive for safe keeping.

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5. Update your beneficiaries.


Source: Google+

If you experienced any big life changes this past year, such as getting married or having kids, the new year is the best time to review and update the beneficiaries on your accounts. In the event something was to happen to you, make sure that your loved ones are covered. Update your beneficiaries on accounts such as:

  • Bank accounts

  • Life insurance

  • Annuities

  • Retirement accounts

  • Will and Testament


6. Refinance your debts.

refinancing debts

Source: PowerUp Lending Group

Look over all your debt accounts and write down the interest rates associated with each one. Can you get a better rate by refinancing your car loan? Do you qualify for a 0% balance transfer promotion for your credit card debt? Take time right now to find a better interest rate for your loans and make this the year you really make a dent in your debt.


7. Check your tax withholding.

tax withholding

Source: Kiplinger

The amount of taxes that are withheld from your paycheck every month are determined by how you filled out the W-4 Form at your job. Carve out time to review and update this form if necessary. The goal is to have as much of your money available for spending each paycheck without owing the IRS at the end of the year. The HR department, or your CPA, can help determine the exact tax withholding that’s best for you.


8. Put your bills on auto-pay.


Source: 3Play Media Support

If you’re still manually paying your bills each month, you’re wasting precious time. Save yourself the headache of missing a due date, or having to spend time writing checks, and enroll in your bills in auto-pay. Even better, switch your payment method over to a credit card that gives offers cash back and start getting rewarded to pay your bills.


Smart financial habits don’t happen overnight but you can get on the right path with these simple money moves. Start the year off on the right foot and you’ll be able to create wealth building habits that will last far into the future.

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carefulcents profile picture
Hi, I'm Carrie Smith! I'm a financial writer and small business expert who helps freelancers build client-based businesses through meaningful relationships. I have a background in small business accounting and taxes and recently won an award for Best Entrepreneurship Blog for my site, carefulcents.com.