3. Assess budget and financial goals.
Give your overall accounts and budget a review. Both your earnings and spending habits may have shifted. Make sure your budget reflects that. If you don’t have a budget in place, now’s a great time to set one up.
Take a moment to check in on your big-picture, long-term financial goals, too, Bergquist says. As with your budget, this is a moment to assess what’s working and what’s not. Ask yourself if you’re still on track, and what may need tweaking.
4. Automate bill payments.
Late payments are the most common reason for credit score dings, says Rod Griffin, senior director of public education and advocacy for Experian. If you’re often late with payments or rely on sticky notes to remind yourself, consider automating them, he says.
If your income is variable or automating payments doesn’t work for other reasons, try adding repeating reminders to your calendar to jog your memory.
5. Check your credit score—then freeze it.
For good financial health, check your credit score regularly, says Griffin. This will help you know where you stand before making a big decision, such as buying a car or house, and also help you catch identity fraud.
When you’re done, freeze your credit. A credit freeze blocks access to your credit report, which means lenders cannot access your report without you temporarily or permanently lifting the freeze. This won’t stop thieves from making false charges on your existing cards, but it can prevent someone from opening a credit account in your name without your permission, Griffin says.