It is strange that, considering the vital nature of the subject, many people lack training in managing their personal finances. Personal finance skills can save money, improve savings and increase one’s effective income. Fortunately, it is never too late to educate yourself on the subject. Here are a few quick personal finance tips that anyone might find useful:
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.
It is important to know who, where, what, when and how, about each agency that reports on your credit history. If you do not follow up with each reporter on your credit file, you could be leaving a mistaken account reference on your history, that could easily be taken care of with a phone call.
Don’t throw out all of your old tissue boxes – turn them into something useful again. For example, you can keep your old tissue boxes and keep your grocery bags inside. The box makes a useful dispenser, while keeping your grocery bag clutter at bay. Place your grocery bag filled tissue box under the kitchen sink for ease of use.
Avoid incurring large debt through student loans, unless you are sure you can handle it in the not too distant future. Getting into that private school and being unsure of your future will more than likely put you into debt for a very long time, so be very careful about this.
There are many ways that you can find great deals on clothes, to put more money in your pocket and limit overspending. Avoid shopping at the upscale stores in the mall and shop at a clearance store, which carries the same brand named items, at much lower prices to fit your budget.
Being a smart shopper can enable one to catch onto money pits that can often lurk in store aisles or on the shelves. An example can be found in many pet stores where animal specific products will often consist of the same ingredients despite the animal pictured on the label. Finding things such as this will prevent one from buying more than is needed.
One of the easiest ways to create and allocate your finances into spending categories is to use simple office envelopes. On the outside of each one, label it with a monthly expenditure like GAS, GROCERIES, or UTILITIES. Pull out enough cash for each category and place it in the corresponding envelope, then seal it until you need to pay the bills or go to the store.
Talk to friends about your financial situation. This will make it a little easier on you when people invite you to go out because they’ll know you can’t pay for it. Make sure that everyone is aware of your situation so that they do not take your actions personally. Friends are vital components in your life, so let them know about your financial situation.
Create an up to date financial plan. This will allow you to see how you are doing in all areas of your finances. Review any insurance plans, income taxes, estate and retirement planning, investments, savings and current debts. Be specific in your goals and be realistic. For more complex financial planning, it is a good idea to seek the services of a CPA.
Creating a personalized budget is how you will ultimately work to save money, but you also have to include unexpected expenditures here. This means that you have to budget a lot lower than you normally would and sacrifice even more. It’s a real pain, but this is how you stay afloat when you’re broke.
Learning to handle money wisely is a great idea for self-improvement. By taking care of finances, a wise person reaps the same benefits that they would by getting a raise. After all, making dollars stretch further is just as effective as making more dollars. Time spent refining personal finance skills is never time wasted.