If you are like most people, you never received instruction on personal finance in school, and your parents probably did not discuss money with you either. After you moved out, you had to muddle along on your own, figuring out on your own how to best manage your personal finances. This article will discuss a few important concepts that you need to know, and will offer a few tips on getting the most out of your money.
Keep a daily checklist. Reward yourself when you’ve completed everything on the list for the week. Sometimes it’s easier to see what you have to do, than to rely on your memory. Whether it’s planning your meals for the week, prepping your snacks or simply making your bed, put it on your list.
Set up a bank account for emergency funds, and do not use it for any daily expenses. An emergency fund should only be used for any unexpected expense that is out of the ordinary. Keeping your emergency fund separate from your regular account will give you the peace of mind that you will have money to use when you most need it.
Avoid thinking that you cannot afford to save up for an emergency fund because you barely have enough to meet daily expenses. The truth is that you cannot afford not to have one. An emergency fund can save you if you ever lose your current source of income. Even saving a little every month for emergencies can add up to a helpful amount when you need it.
Be frugal with your personal finance. While having a brand new car sounds tempting, as soon as you drive it off the lot it loses a huge amount of value. Often times you can get a used car in good if not better condition for a much lower price. You will save big and still have a great car.
If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments and have no hope of becoming current, see if you qualify for a short sale before letting your home go into foreclosure. While a short sale will still negatively affect your credit rating and remain on your credit report for seven years, a foreclosure has a more drastic effect on your credit score and may even cause an employer to reject your job application.
To make your savings account earn money while you sit back and watch, invest in a long term fixed rate. These accounts offer a higher, fixed interest rate for a longer period of time. Most banks offer high interest to get your money, then cut the rate after a few months. Long term fixed rate accounts will have your money making money while it is in the bank.
When trying to arrange your personal finances you should build fun, spending money into the equation. When you have gone out of your way to include entertainment in your budget, it ensures that you remain content. Secondly, it ensures that you are reasonable and have a budget already in place, which allows for entertainment.
Some banks offer great rewards if you are able to refer a customer to their location and they open up an account at a branch. Try to take advantage of this opportunity, as you can add anywhere between 25-100 dollars just for recommending a friend or family member to the bank.
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.
One of the ways that you can save money to improve your financial standing is to shut off the car when you are parked. Keeping your car running could waste gas, which rises in price every single day. Shut your car off any time that you can to save additional cash.
If you’re trying to save money, start with your grocery list. Instead of buying all name brand foods, start buying store brand instead. Most of the time the food is identical and you’ll save yourself a lot of money. Why should you waste money that could be put to better use on a name brand?
Keep track of your actions, and of whether they were successful or not. Go back over your notes and think about how you could have avoided a failure, or realize what you did right. Consider yourself as a student who constantly has to learn new things in order to improve.
As time goes by, financial problems may crop up despite the best of plans. Find out as much information as possible about late fees and grace periods. Find out what your options are before you get decide to sign a yearly lease.
Giving children an allowance is a great way to introduce them to personal finance and teach them how to manage money. When they are given age-appropriate chores and paid for a job well done, not only are they motivated to continue doing good work, they are learning about responsibility and the value of a dollar.
With the advent of the internet there are many tools available to evaluate stocks, bonds and other investments. But it is well to remember that there is a gap between us, as amateurs, and the professional traders. They have far more information than we do and have it much earlier. This tip is a word to the wise to avoid being overconfident.
Checkbook management, taxes, budgeting, and stock market investing are all equally important in your personal finance portfolio. Taking care of your personal finances isn’t difficult, but it does require discipline and a little education. Now that you you know the best ways to manage your money, you can put your money to work for you, turning it into a fungible resource.