Calculating - photo by Lev Kropotov
photo by Lev Kropotov

A new year has begun.

We know you are about to get your driver’s license and maybe a new car.

Why not take a minute or two to look back over last year’s finances? With higher taxes, we all might want to save some money where we can. Right?

Do you use credit cards?

Credit card debt has a funny way of accumulating over the years. The average American household has nearly $16,000 in credit card debt.

With a credit card in your hand it is easy to overspend and even easier to only pay off the minimum amount.

This is where you can save!

But be careful! While living a debt-free life may sound like a great idea, it may not be entirely true since it may hurt your credit score. Lenders tend to look for how you good are with managing debt.

So what should you do if you have a credit card debt?

First, get a clear picture of how much debt you actually have. Keeping track of your finances is a must. If you need to get the debts down, start paying off more than the minimum amounts on your cards.

Then, make smart choices with your money and use any credit card wisely. Frequent small purchases easily add up to big sums.

If you are a college student, eating off-campus usually means that you are paying twice for your food, since meal plans are prepaid. Get used books instead of new ones. E-textbooks for your iPad, PC or Mac are also cheaper.

Search for scholarships and financial aid on a regular basis. There are usually plenty of options available even if you are not in your senior year or looking for a freshman scholarship.