Anyone who has had to pay bills knows the importance of getting their personal finances together. Since they don’t spend much time on personal finance in school, it’s important for any adult to find a system of dealing with their money that works. Here are some helpful tips for keeping personal finances under control.
Get a rewards credit card. No-fee reward cards are the best if you need a credit card. Reward cards give you rewards on various things that you typically use such as hotel rooms, airline tickets and store rewards. Be sure you pay the card off every month and pay on time to avoid interest and late fees.
Talk to an investment representative or financial planner. Even though you may not be rolling in dough, or able to throw hundreds of dollars a month into an investment account, something is better than nothing. Seek their advice on the best options for your savings and retirement, and then start doing it today, even if it is only a few dollars a month.
To better maintain your finances, it is a good idea to have two separate bank accounts. Use one for your monthly expenses like rent, bills and food, and the other to save for emergencies or major purchases. It is also sensible to put money away in an account you never touch so you can build up your savings.
Manage your career as if it was an investment. Your job and the skills you develop are the most important asset you have. Always work to learn more, attend conferences on your career field and read books and newspapers in your area of expertise. The more you know, the higher your earning potential will be.
Whenever you get a windfall such as a bonus or a tax return, designate at least half to paying down debts. You save the amount of interest you would have paid on that amount, which is charged at a much higher rate than any savings account pays. Some of the money will still be left for a small splurge, but the rest will make your financial life better for the future.
Make a plan to pay off any debt that is accruing as quickly as possible. For about half the time that your student loans or mortgage in is repayment, you are payment only or mostly the interest. The sooner you pay it off, the less you will pay in the long run, and better your long-term finances will be.
Taking advantage of a bank’s program to automatically make deposits into a savings account, can be a wise personal finance move. Many banks offer such programs. They take a fixed percentage of every deposit or a set monthly sum out of a customer’s checking account and deposit it in a savings account. This can help the customer build up savings without any hassle.
In regards to your personal finances, one of the worst things that you can do is gamble a lot of money at a casino. Casinos are geared to have an advantage, as you can lose your life savings on a bad day. If you do go to the casino, bring a couple hundred dollars in and leave your credit and debit cards behind.
Always avoid payday loans. They are scams with extremely high interest rates and next to impossible pay off terms. Using them can mean having to put up valuable property for equity, such as a car, that you very well may lose. Explore every option to borrow emergency funds before turning to a payday loan.
Don’t put off saving for and investing in your retirement. Take advantage of work based plans like a 401k. If your employer is contributing to your 401k make sure to do everything you can to optimize that contribution. Roth 401ks allow you to withdraw from your fund without tax penalty if you qualify.
Make sure that you are only paying for the amount of home insurance you need. You cannot file a claim for more than the value of your house and it’s contents, so having high insurance coverage could mean you’re paying for something you can’t even use. Do an inventory of your house and get a rough estimate of what you would claim, then speak to your insurance agent to make sure that your coverage matches that amount.
“Reward” credit cards might not be a good deal. Unless you pay off your balance in full each month, the higher interest rates and fees on “reward” cards might offset the value of the rewards you earn. If you usually carry a balance, you’ll save money by using a low-interest card instead.
Learning to deal with personal finances effectively is a skill that can be used throughout life. These tips can assist anyone on their quest for a stable financial life. Getting personal finances under control can be good for one’s credit and one’s ability to make purchases, and doing so can make life better overall.