Personal finance might appear very complicated and involved, but if you know what you are doing it can be very rewarding to your current and future affairs. If you don’t know what you are doing, you can lose a lot of money or be left with nothing. Fear not, the tips listed below can help you avoid this.
Learn the signs of financial distress to a lender and avoid them. Suddenly opening multiple accounts or attempting to are huge red flags on your credit report. Using one credit card to pay off another is a sign of distress as well. Actions like these tell a prospective lender that you are not able to survive on your current income.
Watch those nickles and dimes. Small purchases are easy to forget about and write off, as not really making much of a difference in your budget. Those little expenses add up fast and can make a serious impact. Take a look at how much you really spend on things like coffee, snacks and impulse buys.
Every time you get a raise, set aside at least half of the new, after-tax increase for saving more each month. You will still enjoy a higher income and will never miss the extra money which you were never used to spending. It is even better if you set up your paycheck or checking account to transfer the money to savings automatically.
Quite often it is said that if you make more you spend more. The biggest tip I can offer in that case is to try to live below your means. If you can afford that luxury $1000 apartment, don’t! Live at a more modest $700 dollar one and pocket the difference perhaps to use as a down payment on a house.
If your bank charges high monthly fees just for the privilege of keeping a checking account, consider switching to a credit union. Most people are eligible for credit union membership based on where they live or work or organizations they belong to. Because credit unions are member-owned, they do not have to make profits like banks do and so they generally offer much better deals.
Keep track of debit card purchases. Always make a note on paper or your phone as soon as you swipe that card so that you do not forget. Debit cards are very convenient, but also make it easy to overspend a budget, and unless you keep a record it is way too easy to overdraw a bank account without realizing it.
For parents who want to get personal finances on their child’s mind as early as possible giving them an allowance can create a cash flow for them to develop their skills with. An allowance will teach them to save for desired purchases and how to manage their own money. Also the parent is still there to help them along.
Find out whether the utilities are included in the rent or you have to pay them separately. If you need to pay your utilities separately do some research and find out how much the average utility bill is. Make sure you can afford the utilities and the rent together or look for public assistance programs you may qualify for.
If you have not started putting away any money for retirement, no matter how old you are, now is the time to start. If you have already started, try boosting up your contributions. Every year people find that they are having to support themselves more in retirement as social security goes down, and may one day disappear.
Plan your spending or others will plan it for you. Know your limits. Personal finance software will help you keep track. Research large purchases. In a store, have a clear goal and avoid browsing. Know exactly what you want and what it costs before you enter a car dealership. When buying a home, buy the house that you need instead of a mansion to impress others.
So as you can see, personal finance is not as complicated as it may appear. It is involved in terms of research and asking questions, but it is worth it in the end. With the above tips in mind, you should be smarter when it comes to improving your own financial situation.