If you are one of the millions living paycheck to paycheck, taking control of your personal finances is absolutely necessary. This may mean learning to live in an entirely different way than you are used to. Follow the advice below to take control of your personal finances and ease the transition to the changes you must make.
You should never risk more money on a trade than you can safely afford to lose. This means that if you lose any money it should not have the potential to destroy you financially. You have to make sure to protect any equity that you might have.
Have a plan for dealing with collection agencies and follow it. Do not engage in a war of words with a collection agent. Simply ask them to send you written information regarding your bill and you will research it and get back to them. Research the statue of limitations in your state for collections. You may be getting pushed to pay something you are no longer liable for.
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.
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 having trouble managing all of your bills because they are coming due at the same time, you may be able to rearrange your due-dates to make things easier for you. Contact your credit card company or utility company and ask them if you can change your due-date so you have more time between each bill.
If your finances are such that you can’t afford to put a sizeable down payment on a new car, you can’t afford that car. Cars depreciate extremely quickly, and unless you make a large payment up-front, you will end up upside-down on that loan. Owing more than the worth of your car makes it difficult to sell the car and can put you in a bad position if the car were to be wrecked.
Take taxi fees into consideration, when financially preparing for your trip. Most people are too preoccupied thinking about hotel, food and leisure expenses, to remember that they need money for taxis. When making a taxi or car reservation, ask how much the ride will be on the phone, so that you know how much to set aside.
If you have more than one credit card – cut it up. Don’t use credit cards to spend money you don’t have. This is the easiest way to find yourself waist deep in debt. If you do all of your shopping with cash, you won’t be able to spend more than you have.
Applying for financial aid and scholarships can help those attending school to get some extra money that will cushion their own personal finances. There are many different scholarships a person can try to qualify for and all of these scholarships will provide varying returns. The key to getting extra money for school is to simply try.
You will begin to feel a sense of fulfillment once you take control of your personal finances. The advice above will help you achieve your goals. You can get through the worst of financial times with a little bit of advice and sticking to your plan will assure success in the future.