Now is the right time for both businesses and consumers to begin making financial strategies for the coming year. While consumer credit has been rising in recent months, suggesting Americans' willingness to incur new debt, the sector is far from pre-recession confidence.
Still, a report released this week by the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of San Francisco suggests consumers should rein in their spending and boost savings. Credit cards are a good place to start. While showing credit ratings agencies and issuers that you are able to pay off debt is a sign of financial health, it's important to keep expenses and credit decisions
under control. Home financing is also expected to be an important trend in 2012. While the housing sector is far from recovered, mortgage delinquency rates are expected to fall, suggesting homeowners are paying down debts and growing more frugal. "With the continuing decline in home values in many locations, homeowners should consider applying for a reassessment of their home value for property tax purposes," the FPA suggests. "This is a relatively easy process that might save significant money, especially for those in expensive areas."