Personal Finance Tips to Better Your Situation

There is no escaping the world of personal finance, it touches upon every aspect of your life. No matter what age, or where you are at in life, it most certainly affects you in some way.  From children that receive a weekly allowance, to adults that receive a standard paycheck, learning the necessary skills to manage your money is vital to achieving success, happiness, and a stress free life.  Allow me to provide some very simple tips on financial management.

You should always have either a debit card, or at least $25 dollars in cash for minor purchases.  First, it helps if you are a Costco member like myself, since they only take American Express!  Also, new laws allow merchants to set minimum purchase amounts for use of credit cards, and I’ve found myself buying things I don’t need just because I only had my credit card available to me.  I

Work to keep your credit rating as high as possible. Having a high credit rating will allow you to have lower interest rates than those with lower scores.  Obtaining a mortgage, renting a home, utilities, car lease or purchase, and other such services can be severely impacted by a bad credit score.  It’s amazing how simple and yet important this fundamental task is, and yet it’s the very first breakdown in financial management for so many people.

Math is fun!  Don’t believe me, huh? One of the life’s greatest wonders is the power of compound interest, and the earlier you learn this lesson, the better.   From savings account, to an investment brokerage, IRA’s, and 401K, compound interest could be the best friend you ever have.

The best financial decision one can make is to try to avoid debt altogether.  This should just go without saying, and yet so many people defy such simple logic.  I know the usual argument, “there is no such thing as good debt”…and I kind of agree with that.  But, quite frankly, there is a such thing as OK debt!  Stay away from credit cards, and payday loans.  However, a mortgage isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Don’t spend any money on get rich quick schemes.  People thought my blogging activities were another get rich quick scheme when I first started.  Here we are over a year later, and I’m not rich, but rather making a steady online income.  Also, it didn’t happen all that quickly.  Just make sure you stay away from snake oil medicine men.  Be cautious of those pyramid schemes, and false promises, after all this is your hard earned money.

Don’t throw out old junk before taking a closer look to make sure it really is junk. It can be a huge boon to your budget if you find out that your old table or chair is worth a few hundred or thousand dollars.  It took me a long time to heed this advice, and thanks to Ebay, Amazon, and Craiglist, it has greatly paid off.  From selling old college textbooks, to used television sets, I have made quite a few bucks off of what was previously thought of as junk.

These tips can help anyone understand and improve their personal financial situation into something healthier, and more productive. No matter whether you’re starting out with $5 or $500,000, the same principles apply, and you can use tips like these to better yourself and your finances immediately!

Simple Tips for Keeping Organized Finances

 

 

Keep your personal finances organized, otherwise it is easy to let them get out of control. If you find yourself in this position, you have to be willing to take the necessary steps in order to get back on the right track. Below I will give you some advice on turning your finances around and something you can be proud of.

Do not fall victim to credit repair organizations that claim they can improve your credit history. Such a practice is absolutely illegal, and these companies can run off with your money, and won’t do a thing to actually help your credit score.  Everyone’s credit history and situation is unique to that person, to guarantee success would be a fraud and no one should make this promise.

Make sure you get those most out of your flexible spending account. It can help pay for medical and daycare bills, and can cost less money in the long run because of tax-free funding. Flex spending accounts permit you to place pretax dollars into an account to pay for these types of expenses. Just make sure you keep good records for tax time!

Keep an envelope with you at all times when you go out. Use this to store all of your receipts and business cards. Keep them around so that you have a paper trail. Your receipts can be used to compare statements in the event you are charged twice for a transaction.  Credit card statements are great for this as well, but sometimes we want to use cash instead.

An emergency fund can be created by having a set amount of money from each paycheck put into a separate savings account. If you have the money automatically transferred to a savings account, you won’t miss it.  Some finance professionals will tell you to keep 3 months of income saved, some will tell you 6 months, I say you should have at least a year in this economy.

Keep track of your available funds in your account(s).  When I was young I fell victim to overdraft fees more often than I care to admit.  Keeping your spending in check is a no-brainer, but balancing your checkbook can save you a ton of hassles and money as well.

Most of these tips seem pretty self-explanatory, but it never ceases to amaze me how little people heed this advice.  Stop worrying about debt snowball strategies and credit repair companies, and start paying attention to simple ground rules of personal finance and you will be just fine

 

Properly Manage Your Money Today

Learn the quick and easy ways to save yourself a few bucks, it isn’t as complicated as one might think.

If you are a frequent flier, you may find it a worthy investment to enter a frequent flier program. It is not uncommon for credit card issuers to offer incentives like airline miles for your purchases.  Some credit card companies offer multi-thousand mile bonuses for initial sign-ups. Frequent flyer miles can also be redeemed for all kinds of rewards, be it gift cards or even cash.

Build off the previous tip, a credit card can a good alternative to a debit card, that is if you pay it off in full each month. When you get a credit card, make daily purchases, such as groceries or gas.  I currently use my Discover Card everywhere possible.  I receive up to 5% off select purchases each month.  Heck, I am even paying a chunk of my wedding with this card!

Stay current and organized with your paperwork, especially with tax documents. Develop a good filing system, both within a filing cabinet and electronic. Simple organization can be a money saver in and of itself.  This involves keeping receipts for write-offs at the end of the year, or keeping gift cards readily available.

Do not ever pay the full price for products if you are looking for ways to cut your expenses.  Discounted gift cards, and online shopping are great ways to accomplish this. Also, stop buying certain brands unless there are coupons for them, or better yet, buy generic brands!

Treat your private finances like a public company, and create an annual budget at the beginning of every year.  Laying out your finances ahead of time can save you money, and prioritize your spending as the months roll along.

Do not dwell on your financial mistakes; learn from them instead.  What’s done is done, and the only way you can benefit is to move forward and remember the error of your ways. It takes time to get out of debt, much more than it took you to get yourself in it.  Recognize there isn’t an easy way out, and set a budget and stick with it.  Pay off your high interest rate cards first, and spend less than you save.  It really is that simple!

As I first said, it isn’t very complicated to right your finances.  Follow a few simple personal finance rules and you will find yourself better off.