Getting your personal finances in order and keeping them that way is an important skill – perhaps a more important one now than ever. Between the high-powered financial options anyone can take advantage of and the time-saving shortcuts anyone can abuse, it is all too easy to lose control of your money. Here are some basic tips about hanging on to your personal financial reins.
If you’re looking to improve your financial situation it may be time to move some funds around. If you constantly have extra money in the bank you might as well put it in a certificate of depressor. In this way you are earning more interest then a typical savings account using money that was just sitting idly.
Married couples should have whichever spouse has the best credit to apply for loans. Those with bad credit should build their score with credit cards that can be paid off easily. Once you have both improved your credit scores, you can share the debt responsibility for future loans.
Do not take on more debt than you can actually handle. Just because you qualify for the loan for the top of the line model of the car you want doesn’t mean you should take it. Try to keep your debts low and reasonable. An ability to get a loan doesn’t mean you’ll have the ability to pay it.
Avoid buying new gadgets as soon as they come out. As we have all seen recently with some of the hottest new products, the price tends to come down within the first 6 months of release. Don’t jump on the train to buy your new toy at release, and you’ll save yourself a bundle.
If you are struggling to get by, look in newspapers and on the internet for a second job. Even though this may not pay that much, it will help you get through the struggles that you are currently going through. A little goes a long way, as this extra income will help extensively.
Sign up as many of your bills for automatic payment as possible. This saves you a considerable amount of time. While you should still review your monthly activity, this will go much faster by checking your bank account online than by reviewing a checkbook ledger or your bills themselves. The extra time you get from automatic bill payment can be invested profitably in many other areas.
One piece of advice that you should follow so that you are always in a safe position is to establish an emergency account. If you are ever fired from your job or faced hard times, you will want to have an account that you can resort to for additional income.
If feasible in your area, try getting around without a car. Between car payments, gas, insurance, and parking, the dollars spent on owning a car can really add up. It isn’t possible for everyone, but if you can try using public transportation or your own two feet to get around.
You can often find great deals if you go shopping on the infamous Black Friday. If you are truly dedicated, you can wake up at the crack of dawn to get into stores as they open up and be the first person to get the best deals, which will greatly improve your personal finances.
It is important to find a bank that offers a free checking account. Some banks charge a monthly or yearly fee to have a checking out with them. These fees can add up and cost you more than it’s worth. Also, make sure there are no interest fees associated with your account
Be realistic when it comes to saving. Some people find it very easy to save money, others, not so much. If you’ve never been able to successfully save money in the past, don’t think that you will suddenly be able to save hundreds of dollars a month. Start small, and get used to the habit of putting aside an amount each month. Once you see it starting to grow, you can increase the amount of money that you save.
Gaining control of your finances is not just economically prudent. It can be a source of great personal satisfaction and even pride. Using methods like those outlined above, you can keep a tight leash on your personal finances and bring your money to heel. Personal finance is all about making your money behave the way you want it to.