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The best way to track your money is the way that works for you.

Every reason to check your credit report before the end of the year, even if your credit is excellent

Considering you can check your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com, there's no reason not to protect yourself.

How often should I check my credit report? Once a year probably isn’t enough

You should get in the habit of regularly checking your three credit reports. Ideally, you'd do this at least once a quarter if not once a month.
The author is not pictured.

My free Credit Karma app helped my credit score spike by 50 points overnight

After getting engaged, the author started paying down debt and raising her credit score. A feature on the Credit Karma app made a huge difference.
Credit Karma is safe to use and employs a few strategies to protect your data.

Is Credit Karma safe? What you need to know before signing up

Credit Karma is safe to use and employs a few strategies to protect your data, including bank-level encryption and a dedicated security team.
You may be able to get an apartment with bad credit if you put down a bigger deposit or find a co-signer.

How to rent an apartment with not-so-great credit

It's not impossible to rent an apartment with bad credit, but it will likely take more money up front, a co-signer, or a roommate to do it.
A hard inquiry may temporarily ding your credit score.

What is a hard inquiry? It dings your credit score every time you want to borrow money, but it’s not a bad thing

A hard inquiry gives a lender a full look at your credit report, but may negatively influence your credit score as a result.
Your FICO score may be slightly different at each credit bureau.

What you need to know about your FICO score and how to build good credit

What is a FICO score? It's a number that can make a difference in your financial life — here's how to check it and what to look for.
Knowing how to read a credit report is an important part of your financial life.

How to read a credit report to find out if you’re in good standing

Knowing how to read a credit report is an important part of having a healthy financial life. Keep track of your scores a get free reports annually.
If you think your information has been stolen, you can either set up a fraud alert or freeze your credit.

There are 2 free ways to safeguard your identity after a massive data breach like Capital One’s: freeze your credit or set up a fraud alert

If you think your information has been stolen, you have two options to protect against future fraud: set up a fraud alert or freeze your credit.
Capital One revealed a data breach affecting more than 100 million customers.

100 million Capital One credit-card customers have had their data hacked. Here’s what you should do instead of freaking out.

Capital One reported that it was hit with a data breach affecting 100 million users in the US. Here's what to do, according to a financial planner.