During difficult economic times, intelligently managing your personal finances can mean the difference between living comfortably, and losing your home or being forced to file for bankruptcy protection. This article was written with the average person in mind. It is designed to help you improve your financial situation by teaching you to intelligently manage your personal finances.
Shop around before committing to a specific lender for financing. Talk to several loan officers, and always get terms on paper. You can also let the loan officer know of other rates you have been quoted, giving them a chance to compete for your business. Be sure to not only compare interest rates, but additional fees and charges as well.
Selling some household items that are never used or that one can do without, can produce some extra cash. These items can be sold in a variety of ways including many different online websites. Free classifieds and auction websites offer many options to turn those unused items into extra money.
Keep up with your bills to have better personal finance. Many times people will pay part of a bill, and this gives the company the ability to tack on expensive late fees. By paying your bills on time, it can actually bring up your credit score, and put a few extra dollars in your pocket in the end.
If you are looking for the best deals, take the middle man out of the equation. Sites like Expedia and Travelocity can include transactions fees (though some have been reducing them or even eliminating them). Take a look at the prices directly available at the websites of the airlines and hotels you are considering. You may find that it is cheaper.
Having a savings account into which you regularly deposit money will help you achieve financial stability. This will make it less likely that you will have to get a loan when extra money is needed, and you will be able to deal with emergencies. It doesn’t matter if you save a whole lot each month or just a little; what is important is that there is a contribution each month.
Buying used can save you a lot of cash. Cars for example, lose up to 20% of their purchase price, just by signing on the dotted line and driving off the lot in it. Let someone else pay for that depreciation by purchasing a car that is a couple of years old. You will still have a low mileage warrantied car, but without the hit to your equity.
Not only can you insure your own medical costs, but pet owners may want to investigate pet insurance. These policies can pay for or kick in to pay for vet services once you reach a deductible amount. Veterinary costs can be expensive, so it make sense to insure you pet, the same way you would a member of the family.
Stick to your goals. When you see the money start pouring in, or the money flying away, it can be hard to stay the course and stick with what you originally planned. Before making changes, keep in mind what you really want and what you can really afford; and you’ll save yourself money.
If you are having trouble with money, apply for a credit card at your local bank. Credit cards are very valuable as they allow you additional time to pay back the money that you owe and can go a long way in establishing a firm credit score for benefits in the future.
If you have managed your finances well enough to own a home and have a retirement account, don’t jeopardize those by borrowing against them later. If you borrow against your home and can’t repay it, you could lose your home; the same is true for your retirement fund. Borrow against them only in dire situations.
Remember, intelligently managing your personal finances is the key to wealth and security. In an economic downturn, being careless or foolish with your money can have grave consequences. Carefully read the tips in this article, and apply what you learn to your own personal financial situation. By doing so, you can protect yourself from financial ruin.