As we get closer to the holidays, you’re probably thinking of ways to improve your lifestyle: maybe you want to cook more often, take a wine tasting class, or join your neighborhood yoga studio. Well, getting your financial house in order can also be one of your goals this winter because having financial stability can lead you to achieve your goals and aspirations, and frankly, you’ll breathe more easily too. Here are some strategies to get your financial house in order in 2017:

1)      Open up a credit card:
Yes, you heard this one right. Having credit history can lead you to show lenders that you are worthy of buying a home or a car because you show lenders that you are responsible with your money. Even if you use your credit card for only your grocery shopping, you will begin building your credit history. The Chase Slate 2016 Credit Outlook Survey found that only half of Hispanics have checked their credit score this year, and this is due to fear and ambivalence. Checking your credit and building a healthy credit score is an important stepping stone!

2)      Pay your credit card in full every month:
Did you know that one of the 5 factors affecting your credit score is being consistent with your payments? This one is easy – set up an automatic pay and stay on track every month.

3)      Set an automatic savings payment every month:
Make sure that every month, a little bit of your earnings go to savings. Sign in to your online banking and enter the amount you want transferred from your checking account to your savings account. Even if it’s $20 every month – that is going to start building a cash cushion for emergencies. Set it on automatic. That way, you won’t even notice!

4)      Use your credit cards to your advantage:
Credit cards now offer great rewards. Find the right one for you. You can literally get money back for your spending, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card gives you 1.5% cashback on every purchase and it’s 0% intro APR (amount of interest on your total loan amount) for 18 months. This is a no brainer – free money?  Yes, please!

5)      Lastly, review your expenses on a weekly basis:
Make sure that every week you’re setting time aside to go over your expenses and plan for what’s ahead. If you have a birthday coming up and need to get presents, this will be the time to help you cut back this week so that next week, you can spend wisely and happily on that gift.

This holiday, give yourself the gift of financial freedom!
For more tips, go to