Without a sound understanding of managing one’s personal finances, it can be difficult to make it from one paycheck to the next. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to ensure that your spending and saving decisions are handled responsibly. This article offers a variety of ideas and inspiration to help you cope with money matters.
If you are in doubt with what you should do, or do not have all of the information necessary to make a logical decision, stay out of the market. Refraining from entering into a trade that would have plummeted is much better than taking a high risk. Money saved is money earned.
To establish a good credit history or repair a bad one, you will want to keep your credit card balances low. You should never let your balance get anywhere near your maximum credit line. Having reasonable balances that you pay off regularly is a sign of a responsible credit user who can be trusted with debt.
If you can afford to do so, open an installment account, such as a loan or car payment. These will add extra weight onto your credit profile and will increase your credit score as long as it stays within your debt to income ratio. Be careful and only take on debt you can afford.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to take the “personal” out of “personal finance” by sharing your financial goals with others, such as close friends and family. They can offer encouragement and a boost to your determination in reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself, such as building a savings account, paying off credit card debts, or creating a vacation fund.
A good rule of thumb for savings, is to put away 10% of your income each payday into a savings account. Make sure that you don’t have a debit or credit card linked to this account, as it is too tempting to spend it if you find something you can’t seem to live without.
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.
Protection from identity theft is something that you should insure yourself against, especially if you do a lot of work on your computer. Make sure that all of your information is password protected and that you have a solid anti-virus protection program. This will reduce hacking and protect your financial information.
Car maintenance is essential in keeping your costs low during the year. Make sure that you keep your tires inflated at all times to maintain the proper control. Running a car on flat tires can increase your chance for an accident, putting you at high risk for losing a lot of money.
To help you to save money, set up an automatic transfer to your savings account every pay period. Making the transfer automatically helps you to get used to the idea of saving. It also prevents frivolous spending before the money can be saved. You won’t miss what you don’t see, so automate your savings process today.
Keep good records of your expenses. If you aren’t keeping accurate records, it’s doubtful that you are claiming all you are allowed at tax time. It also makes your situation very difficult if an audit should happen. A digital or paper file can work just fine, so work on creating the system that works for you.
If you are currently renting, start saving. Once you have an idea of the monthly mortgage payment you qualify for, save the difference between that amount and your current rent payment. This will get you used to making a larger monthly payment, and any savings can be put towards your down payment for your new home.
With the ideas from this article, you can now be a more informed and responsible person. Learning how to spend and save wisely can make an enormous difference in the quality of life for yourself and your entire household. Use these tips to make the most of your hard-earned money, for life.