Tips For Improving Your Finances In Today’s Economy
Keeping your finances straight shouldn’t be a chore, and it shouldn’t be difficult. It is however, a highly important part of your life in so many ways from establishing good credit to finding love. This article will offer you some advice with respect to personal finance so that you can keep your life going on the right path.
A higher education can ensure that you get a better position in personal finance. Census data shows that people who have a bachelor’s degree can earn nearly double the money that someone with just a diploma earns. Even though there are costs to go to college, in the end it will pay for itself and more.
Start building up an emergency fund today. In an ideal world you should have at least three months, preferable six months, living expenses stored away. Put it in an easy access, high interest savings account. If you don’t have any money saved, remember that it is never too late to start saving.
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 you are engaged to be married, consider protecting your finances and your credit with a prenup. Prenuptial agreements settle property disputes in advance, should your happily-ever-after not go so well. If you have older children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can also help confirm their right to your assets.
One of the best ways to improve your finances is to purchase the generic brand of products. The next time you are in the supermarket, purchase the store brand cereal, which can taste just as good as the higher priced, marketed brand. This can save you a lot of money when projected out over the year.
Personal Finance Tips
Sit down and add up all the money that you have coming in to the house each month. Then sit down and add up the amount that your monthly bills cost. Subtract the money you spend on your bills from your monthly income. The number you come up with is the amount of money you have to spend on everything else – food, clothing, medicine, luxury items, etc. Don’t go over this amount. This will insure that you have enough money to pay all of your bills and aren’t spending more than you’re earning.
If you are trying to improve your credit score, consider finding a way to transfer debt to “invisible” locations. If you can pay a delinquent account off by borrowing from a friend or family member, your credit score will only reflect that you paid it off. If you go this route, make sure to sign something with your lender that gives them the power to take you to court should you fail to pay, for extra security.
Get yourself a free checking account. Checking accounts these days charge an average of about $13.00 in monthly fees, and usually require a minimum balance to keep the account free. Switch to a no-fee account that requires no minimum balance and does not charge per transaction. Try smaller banks in your community, online-only banks or credit unions.
Create a monthly entertainment allowance so that you do not spend more than you can afford. This allowance is enough for you to purchase shoes, meals and books, but that is all the spending money you get for the month. This is a good way to avoid overspending on items you do not really need while staying happy.
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Keep your important tax related documents together in an active file. Receipts, healthcare statements, insurance documents, and other pieces of information can be grouped together so that they can be easily found when tax season hits.
Many companies offer a matching program if you put money into a 401k. This is an excellent way to save money, and also gain some extra for the future. It is best to take free money whenever you can get it, and this is one of the best ways of doing that.
If you are the type of person that likes to use a credit card, make sure you are using one that offers rewards. You can earn things like cash back or you can pick out items in a catalog. These can be great presents to give to people for birthdays or holidays.
Never co-sign a friend’s loan. Co-signing makes a threesome “� the creditor, your friend and you “� that too often ends badly, possibly affecting your own credit. Don’t do it unless you are willing to pay the loan yourself. Because you are equally responsible, you’ll be hounded to make good if your friend defaults.
Have an emergency savings cushion. Without one to fall back on, unexpected expenses unavoidably land on your credit card. Put away six to twelve months’ worth of living expenses into your emergency savings account so that if you have a huge medical expense or the car breaks down, you’ll be covered.
This is, perhaps, the simplest personal finance tip of all, but it so often gets overlooked. If you want to take charge of your finances and your bank account, you must spend less than you earn. Spending more than you bring in is a recipe for financial disaster.
Use your debit card instead of writing a check. Paper checks cost money. Even when you mail order the cheapest variety, there is still a per-check cost that is not duplicated when you use your debit card. Do make sure however, that the merchant doesn’t charge you a fee for using a debit card.
Don’t let yourself be discouraged when it comes to organizing your finances. A lot of the different ways to do so are very simple to apply, even if you have very little money to begin with. Let this article be the starting point on your personal journey to keeping your finances straight.
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