Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to have financial lives that are out of control. A lot of times, it is due to lack of financial knowledge. This article is packed with great tips to help you avoid financial ruin.
Scheduling a long car journey for the right time of year can save the traveler a lot of time and money. In general, the height of summer is the busiest time on the roads. If the distance driver can make his or her trip during other seasons, he or she will encounter less traffic and lower gas prices.
In this economy, it’s best to have multiple savings plans. Keep some money in a savings account, some in a checking account, some invested in stocks, some in high-interest accounts, and some in gold. Using a variety of strategies will help you protect the money you have.
Pay off your high interest credit cards first. Come up with a plan for how much money you can put towards your credit card debt each month. In addition to making the minimum payments on all your cards, throw the rest of your budgeted amount at the card with the highest balance. Then move on to the next highest balance and so on.
Change your cell phone plan. When you sign up to an expensive monthly cell phone plan you can end up paying for talk minutes that don’t use. So, the next time your cell phone contract is due for renewal consider switching to a cheaper plan and you could save $20 a month or more.
It is never too early to save for the future. Even if you have just graduated from college, starting a small monthly savings program will add up over the years. Small monthly deposits to a retirement account compound much more over 40 years than larger amounts can over 10 years, and have the additional advantage that you are used to living on less than your total income.
If you are a member of any groups such as the police, military or a car assistance club, ask if a store provides discounts. Many shops offer discounts of 10% or even more, but not all advertise that fact. Prepare to show your card as proof of membership or give your number if you are shopping online.
If feasible in your area, try getting around without a car. Between car payments, gas, insurance, and parking, the dollars spent on owning a car can really add up. It isn’t possible for everyone, but if you can try using public transportation or your own two feet to get around.
Do your best to control your emotions. Do not let greed or stress dictate your actions. Always take your time before you make a decision, and if you are not sure, perhaps you should not do it. If you notice that you are getting particularly stressed, you should take a break.
Unless it’s an actual emergency, stay away from the ER. Make sure and locate urgent care centers in your area that you can go to for after hours issues. An ER visit co-pay is usually double the cost of going to your doctor or to an urgent care clinic. Avoid the higher cost but in a true emergency head straight to the ER.
Plan your spending or others will plan it for you. Know your limits. Personal finance software will help you keep track. Research large purchases. In a store, have a clear goal and avoid browsing. Know exactly what you want and what it costs before you enter a car dealership. When buying a home, buy the house that you need instead of a mansion to impress others.
A good personal finance tip is to make sure you keep all your receipts. You need to hold on to your receipts so that you can balance your checkbook. Receipts are also very important when it’s time to do your taxes because the IRS will always ask for proof.
One of the things that you need to remember when trying to manage your personal finances is to only buy the things that you can afford. Whenever faced with a dilemma of purchasing something, think quickly about paying it in cash. If you cannot pay for it using cash, then you probably can’t afford it.
Use your favorite credit cards regularly if you don’t want to lose them. Credit card companies may close or reduce credit limit on inactive or unprofitable accounts without advance notice, which may negatively affect your finances in the future. Use them regularly and pay off the balances to stay out of debt.
No one likes to think about it, but keeping a current will is a crucial part of protecting your personal finances, in a worst case scenario. If you do not already have a will, then at least take the time to create and save documents that cover your primary assets. Any time you add an asset or a family member, you should also update your will.
Have more than one bank account. You have many things that you need your money for, including your daily expenses, long term savings and any investments. You should have a different bank account for each purpose. This creates order in your financial life and it makes it easier to get an idea of how your finances are doing overall.
If you need to compare prices for a mortgage or a loan, do it within the same week. Credit inquiries will cause your score to drop, but if the inquiries happen within a few days they will be considered as one single inquiry. Plan ahead of time so you can visit as many agencies as possible in a week.
As mentioned, a lot of people have a hard time controlling their personal finances. You don’t have to be under educated when it comes to dealing with money. So take this advice to heart, and do what you can to live a financially stable and stress free life.