In these hard financial times, even for those of us lucky enough to be gainfully employed keeping your finances straight can be such a challenge. With the cost of everything from milk and eggs to gas rising, saving is near impossible. This article will offer some advice on personal finance.
The envelope system is a tried and true budgeting technique that can work well for those who have a hard time staying within their budget. Cash out your paycheck at each pay period and put a predetermined amount of cash into each envelope for each line on your budget. You can then only spend the cash that you have for each item. It prevents you from overspending as you have a visual for what is left.
Watch those nickles and dimes. Small purchases are easy to forget about and write off, as not really making much of a difference in your budget. Those little expenses add up fast and can make a serious impact. Take a look at how much you really spend on things like coffee, snacks and impulse buys.
Start saving money for your children’s college education as soon as they are born. College is a very large expense, but by saving a small amount of money every month for 18 years you can spread the cost. Even if you children do not go to college the money saved can still be used towards their future.
A good grocery store sale isn’t so good if you end up wasting the items you bought. It makes good sense to stock up on things that you use the most, but you shouldn’t buy more than you can eat if it will expire before you can use it. Be realistic, so you can enjoy a good bargain when you find one.
If you want to minimize the amount that you spend, in a spreadsheet, track every single penny spent. This will allow you to see where you are wasting money and where your necessities are. Analyze this information, and improve your overall spending habits to put more money in your bank account.
Don’t ever cosign on a loan for a friend or family member unless you are financially able and emotionally willing to take on the entire amount of the debt. Being a co-signer does not mean you are vouching for the trustworthiness of the other borrower; it means you are taking on responsibility for the loan if the other party fails to pay.
If one has old electronics that are in perfectly good working condition but out-dated and replaced with a newer product, they can still be valuable. If one sells them to a pawn shop or sells them over the internet that can bring in some extra money to save.
You should look for online websites that allow you to rent out your property for free. Craigslist is one of the most popular sites that does this. Do not place ads in your local paper because they may cost a good amount of money, and most people these days look online for rentals.
Sometimes one form of a good is just as good but cheaper than another. Frozen vegetables are often a great example; frozen green beans are just as crisp and tasty as fresh green beans, and often more nutritious due to nutrient degradation after travel time, but cost half as much or less, especially during the winter.
How can you increase your finances? Having a savings account is very important. The best way to do this is to pay you first – before any other bill is paid. Understandably, there are times in life when it’s difficult to save; however, just putting $25 a paycheck aside for savings will add-up over time.
Consider signing up for a flexible spending account. An FSA lets you pay for medical, dependent care or transportation costs with pretax dollars put aside at each paycheck. By paying with pretax dollars, you are basically getting a discount on all these expenses. If your job offers a flexible spending account, contact the employee benefits department about it.
If money is tight and earning more is simply not a possibility, then spending less is the only way for you to get ahead. Bear in mind that saving just $40 a week by carpooling, cutting coupons and renegotiating or canceling unnecessary services is the equivalent of a $1 per hour raise.
Use the right plumbing fixtures to reduce your water bill. There are a variety of fixtures that are specifically designed to reduce the amount of water consumed when using sinks, showers, and toilets. They are generally known as “low flow” fixtures. The data suggests you can save 10-20% on water by using these fixtures.
Whenever possible, look into buying things in bulk. Foods that don’t go bad quickly like canned goods, drinks, etc., can often be purchased in bulk for great prices. Nonfood items like plates, napkins, paper towels, or toilet paper can also be bought in bulk for great prices. Since you’ll always need these, buying them in bulk can save you money in the long run.
If you want a mortgage, you should have a credit score of 740. When you have great credit, you can expect lowers interest rates on your mortgage. If necessary, do what you can to elevate your credit score. Applying for a large loan, such as a mortgage, should be put off until you have improved your credit rating.
Even though times are tough it is still feasible to get a handle on your finances. Whether it be by investing, scrimping and saving, or by sheer manpower, it is possible. This article offered some advice on how to handle your personal finances so that these tough financial times won’t be as tough.