CHICAGO (8/12/13)--More than half of Americans are focused on fun in the sun this summer instead of the financial resolutions they set back in January, TransUnion found in a recent survey. The credit and information management company reminds consumers to take time this summer to conduct a mid-year checkup and evaluate their financial goals for 2013.
"The trick with resolutions is to keep them achievable--the tendency is to attempt too much and set yourself up for failure," Susan Tiffany, director of consumer publications for the Credit Union National Association, said Friday. "One simple technique to save more money, for example, is just to set up direct deposit and automated transfers from checking to savings. You can use a similar technique to pay down credit cards, by setting up automated payments."
Nearly a quarter of Americans surveyed (22%) say they have abandoned their financial resolutions for 2013. Also, nearly a third (29%) of those said they were less than halfway to their 2013 goals, according to a recent Google Consumer survey commissioned by TransUnion.
"A mid-year checkup is the perfect time for consumers to appraise their current financial situation and make goals for where they want to be at the end of 2013," said Julie Springer, vice president at TransUnion responsible for consumer education.
Credit unions can help their members get financially fit and reach their financial resolutions for 2013 with these tips from TransUnion:
Check credit reports frequently: The first step to robust credit health is to recognize which bad financial habits, such as late payments, one has and how they are represented on the consumer's credit report. Regular check-ups also will help guard against identity theft.
Know your score: Consumers should understand what affects a credit score and take the necessary steps to reach healthier credit. The higher the score, the more likely a better rate will be received.
Create a monthly spending plan and stick to it: Consumers should determine current spending habits and set a monthly budget to determine how much disposable income they have so they can manage it wisely. By examining spending habits for a few months and inputting monthly payments and deposits, consumers can get a better idea about where to cut spending and increase savings.
File a dispute. Consumers have the right to question information on their credit report that they don't recognize or that might be inaccurate.
Guard against identity theft: Sign up for a credit monitoring service for quick alerts to any changes in the report, said TransUnion.