Already brainstorming resolutions for the New Year? While hitting the gym and meal prepping are always great additions to the list, we’ve got a totally achievable, no-cost suggestion: improving your financial wellness.

You’ve clicked on this article, which means you’ve already taken the first step (yay you!) towards improving your money matters. But between managing student loans, paying off credit card bills, and learning the difference between stocks and stonks, it can be hard to know where and how to start. Fear not: You don’t have to be a money maven to begin improving your personal finances. In fact, responsibly chipping away at your debt and taking little steps to manage your money can have a major impact on your purchasing power later on (for example, if you eventually want to buy your own slice of the real estate pie).

While everyone’s path to financial wellness looks different, we’re taking this time to explore Credit Sesame. Think of it as an all-in-one platform that can provide you with free credit score reporting, recommend credit cards or loans best suited for you, and even reward you with cold hard cash for improving your score.

Have we piqued your pecuniary curiosity? Tickled your financial funny bone? These four simple yet effective tips will help you grow your cash and credit together in 2022.

1. Check your credit score

Ready to boldly go where your financial journey has never gone before? The first step is checking out your credit score. This three-digit number can sit anywhere between 300 and 850 and generally represents how likely you are to pay your bills on time. The higher the number, the more likely you’ll receive favorable credit terms when you go to borrow money or apply for a credit card.

Credit Sesame provides free credit scores to their customers via TransUnion. And while can be scary to look up that number (especially if you’ve never seen it before), remember that everyone starts somewhere. Knowledge is power, and Credit Sesame offers tailored and approachable advice so you can confidently start building your credit score. Which brings us to…

What does it mean to get your credit score moving in the right direction? While the answer depends on your individual circumstances, the first logical hurdle to overcome is that using your credit card can be a good thing. Proving that you can responsibly and consistently take on and pay off debt will positively affect your score, as long as you keep an eye on your total debt and keep it below your limit. Hot tip: People with the highest credit scores typically use no more than 10 percent of their available credit.

Other habits of people with good credit include paying your bills on time (consider setting up auto payments for peace of mind), maintaining a healthy credit mix, and applying for new credit accounts only as needed. You shouldn’t expect to see changes overnight, but by checking Credit Sesame on an ongoing basis and implementing the personalized tips on how to manage your credit and loans, you’re setting yourself up for success.

While a healthy credit score will do wonders for you down the line, it’s also pretty sweet to get rewarded for your hard work as you go. Credit Sesame’s credit-building cash account called Sesame Cash offers a one-two punch, helping you build your credit while simultaneously rewarding you with cash back when your score increases by a certain point value. It literally pays to improve your credit score.

If that post-workout spa session is the thing that gets you to the gym, you know exactly how these little moments of motivation can keep you on track.

4. Invest in your financial future

A lot of people sign up for gym memberships in the New Year; why can’t a finance membership be the same (albeit, less sweaty) thing? Credit Sesame Premium members get access to more features that can help them improve their financial wellbeing. All premium plans include a three-bureau credit report on a monthly basis (with info from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian), credit dispute resolution assistance (in case you need backup when flagging inaccuracies that appear on your credit report), and identity theft insurance should someone get a hold of your information. Oh, and for all the renters out there: You can even use the platform to report your monthly rent payments to TransUnion and Equifax to help boost your credit score.

When it comes to improving your personal finance knowledge, a little goes a long way. Visit the Credit Sesame website for articles, videos, and infographics, or to learn more about its products and services. We don’t know about you, but we’re feeling good about 2022!