PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If your New Year's resolution is to boost your savings and be better with your finances, here are some simple strategies you need based on the economic outlook for 2024.
Interest rates have gone up at the fastest pace in 40 years, but we do expect a little bit of a turnaround in 2024. So, here's what that means for your wallet and some money strategies you should employ this year.
"As interest rates ease off a bit during the year, you will see better deals," said Greg McBride of Bankrate.
That means you should shop around to save on those credit card balances you racked up during the holidays.
"You're going to see more offers for lower rates or low rate balance transfer offers."
Check out websites like Bankrate.com for companies offering 0% balance transfers, some promotions last as long 21 months.
"It's just really important to utilize that balance transfer promotional period to get the debt paid off. You don't want to find yourself at the end of that promotional period, then having to leapfrog to another offer, because you're still carrying a balance," said McBride.
Also, look to see if it might makes sense to refinance auto or home loans. However, also be aware, even though things are expected to ease, rates are still high.
"So it doesn't diminish the urgency about paying down high cost debt, keep the hammer down on paying down that credit card debt or that home equity line of credit that has gone so much higher over the past couple of years," said McBride.
The other step you should take this year is to improve your credit worthiness so you can get a good rate.
"Much like a reputation. You know, it doesn't take long to destroy your credit, but it does take quite a while to rehabilitate it," said McBride.
The biggest and most important thing is paying your bills on time. That alone accounts for more than a third of your score.
In terms of quick fixes, if you can make a lump sum payment on a revolving credit balance that can give your score a boost.
Also, check your credit reports. Make sure a mistake isn't lowering your score.
"Getting that corrected can also provide a pretty substantial boost to your credit score in a short period of time," said McBride.
You can check your credit score for free three times a year at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Also, since rates are expected to go down, if you've had your eye on locking in a CD, now is the time to act.