THE BLOG
12/29/2016 10:45 am ET Updated Dec 30, 2017

Countdown To The New Year

It's well into December and you're probably focused on all the festivities and holiday gift-giving that happens this time of year. Maybe there's shopping and carollers at your door. But one thing that's always at the back of our minds right now, which is easy to forget about until it's almost too late, is the New Year.

The New Year is just around the corner. In just a few days, we'll be wearing funny hats and counting down until we ring in the New Year at midnight.

Before you put the New Year out of your mind right now, it's good to remember that the decisions you make today will set you up for success (or for struggle) in 2017. Yes, even a seemingly small decision now, could mean the difference between happiness and hardship next year.

Consider whether you get extravagant on a gift purchase, or if you choose something more modest. That quick decision could mean you have to pay more on your credit

The smallest decision now can have a big impact next year.

To help you make great choices right now for healthier credit in 2017, here's a list of 10 simple things you can do to countdown to the New Year. These are 10 very simple steps to take, and each should only take a few minutes long, and you'll find that 2017 will come around and you'll be in a great position to master your credit.

10. Set a goal. Set a credit goal for yourself for next year - maybe that you'll clean up your credit to get a nice clean report.

9. Bookmark the website to get your credit reports. MyFICO.com is a great site to use. Just bookmark it! That's all you need to do right now. Very simple!

8. Save your receipts - get an envelope and put it somewhere and put all credit card purchases into that envelope. That way, they're in one spot for when your credit card bill comes and you can check the receipts against purchases.

7. Get a big envelope to file your credit card statements. If your credit card statements are just lying around, get a big envelope and keep them all together.

6. Find a binder to store your printed credit reports. This binder will become your credit repair binder that you'll store all credit reports in.

5. Make sure you've read my 90 Day Credit Challenge book and my Credit Makeover book.

4. Remember that website you bookmarked earlier to get your credit reports? Well, now's the time to order them. Order your credit reports right now. (Don't delay).

3. Make a list of the places you've lived in the past, and how long you lived at each place. (Then check this information against the information on your credit reports when they arrive.

2. Schedule your credit review times throughout the near next year. Get a calendar and set aside at least two days, perhaps even 4 days (one a quarter) to review your credit reports.

1. List the loans you have open right now, including installment loans (like mortgages and personal loans and car loans) and lines of credit.

There you go! You just counted down to the New Year. Do one small task daily and you'll be well set up for the New Year!