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.
When it comes to finances one of the most intelligent things to do is avoid credit card debt. Only spend the money if you actually have it. The typical ten percent interest rates on a credit card can cause charges to add up very quickly. If you find yourself already in debt, it is prudent to pay early and often overpay.
If you are looking to repair your credit going through a credit repair agency might not be a bad idea. Often times they offer the opportunity to buy something like a flat screen TV in exchange for weekly payments. In this way your credit is slowly restored and you end up with something nice.
Keep an eye on your personal finance by watching your credit reports closely. Not only will this empower you with valuable information, but also it can also help you to ensure that no one else has compromised your personal information and is committing fraud in your name. Usually checking it once or twice a year is sufficient.
Finance experts say it all the time. Pay yourself first. You should have at least 3 months worth of living expenses in an emergency savings account. From each paycheck you should have a specified amount of money that goes directly to this account before you ever even see it.
If you are accustomed to paying your bills by mail, it is optimal to switch to online bill pay. Every bill that you send out by mail will cost you 40-50 cents with postage. Pay online so you do not have to worry about this fee in your daily and weekly expenses.
By being conscious of your utilities usage such as electricity, gas or even water, you can reduce the amount on your bills. This savings can add to valuable extra money to your personal finances. Saving money from utilities fees can often help more than you thinks.
You should start a savings account for emergencies only. Most people aren’t in the habit of saving money and this is a great way to start a money saving habit. If you have a hard time saving money, have it direct deposited from your paycheck so you don’t have to do it yourself.
One way to save on bank fees is to only use the ATM’s at your financial institution. Many banks charge fees if you use the ATM of another bank. They will charge you every month for using other ATMs.
If you have your debt spread into many different places, it may be helpful to ask a bank for a consolidation loan which pays off all of your smaller debts and acts as one big loan with one monthly payment. Make sure to do the math and determine whether this really will save you money though, and always shop around.
Pack your lunch. Most people spend the most money in their day during lunchtime. This is because most people get up and don’t make time to prepare lunch before work. That means they have to pay out of pocket for lunch unless they wait for dinner. Making a quick lunch will save that money.
Take advantage of rewards cards offered at stores. You can get free gas or money off of gas if you buy groceries at certain stores. You can also buy gift cards for other purchases you may make at retail stores and save even more on gas! You will be happy you thought about it!
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.