Managing your personal finances is an essential skill to possess. If you develop the knowledge and the discipline to maintain consistent habits, you will be able to avoid relying on others for financial support. You can enjoy independence and become less concerned about having money, especially when you need it most.
Don’t bother with store credit cards. Store cards have a bad cost/benefit calculation. If you pay on time, it won’t help your credit all that much, but if a store account goes to collections, it will impact your credit history just as much as any other default. Get a major credit card for credit repair instead.
To help with personal finance, if you’re normally a frugal person, consider taking out a credit card which you can use for your day to day spending, and which you will pay off in full each month. This will ensure you get a great credit rating, and be much more beneficial than sticking to cash or debit card.
To help you keep better track of your money, be sure to categorize all of your expenses. Have one category for fixed expenses like the mortgage payment, another for variable expenses like the phone bill and credit card payments, and a third for things like shopping trips or meals out.
To improve your personal finance habits, be sure to keep a buffer or surplus amount of money for emergencies. If your personal budget is completely taken up with no room for error, an unexpected car problem or broken window can be devastating. Be sure to allocate some money each month for unpredicted expenses.
Do not charge more each month than you can pay when the bill comes in. The interest adds up if you only pay the minimum balance, and you can end up paying much more for your purchase in the end than if you had simply used your own money to buy it outright. Bonuses such as airline miles or even rebates seldom make up for the additional expense.
Keep track of debit card purchases. Always make a note on paper or your phone as soon as you swipe that card so that you do not forget. Debit cards are very convenient, but also make it easy to overspend a budget, and unless you keep a record it is way too easy to overdraw a bank account without realizing it.
One thing that you will need to be very concerned with when analyzing your personal finances is your credit card statement. It is very important to pay down your credit card debt, as this will only rise with the interest that is tacked onto it each month. Pay off your credit card immediately to increase your net worth.
If you live near a group of employees that you work with, form a carpool. This will allow you to save money on gas, reducing one of your expenses dramatically over the year. Carpooling is not only fun, but a great way to implement as a money management tool for the year’s expenses.
Get a flexible spending account if you can. You will save money with your flexible spending account if something were to happen where you incurred additional bills. These kind of accounts will let you set some pretax money aside for these expenses. However, it is best to consult a tax professional first, as there are usually various stipulations involved.
Remember that developing good financial habits is a continual process. It won’t happen overnight, but you can make real improvement, if you achieve consistancy over a span of a few months. It is never too late to start getting your finances in order, so don’t ever doubt that you can turn things around.