With the economy struggling to get back on its feet, many people are struggling to keep their heads above water financially. If you’re one of those people, you’ve come to the right place. This article compiles a bunch of different tips to give you a starting point to managing your personal finances.
Exercise caution when you estimate what sort of mortgage payments you can afford. A mortgage is a very long-term financial proposition. Meeting your payment obligations will rely on how much money you will earn over a number of years. Keep in mind the possibility that your income may stay constant or even fall in the future, when you consider mortgage payments.
If you have lost a prior home to foreclosure, this does not mean that you are out of home owning altogether. You should be able to get a government-backed mortgage through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA, in as little as three years after your previous home has foreclosed.
Improve your personal finance by checking out a salary wizard calculator and comparing the results to what you are currently making. If you find that you are not at the same level as others, consider asking for a raise. If you have been working at your place of employee for a year or more, than you are definitely likely to get what you deserve.
Home equity loans are tempting but dangerous. If you miss a payment on a home equity loan, you could lose your home. Make sure that you can afford the monthly payments and that you have a significant emergency savings built up before taking out any loans against your home.
When you need to improve your credit, clear up debt first. You’ll need to pay off what you owe first. There are a variety of ways to save money, like making your own meals. Bringing lunch with you to work and eating in on weekends will make great strides in your personal savings. When you cut this spending, you can put those funds elsewhere.
It’s often easier to save money if you don’t have to think about it, so it can be a good idea to set up your direct deposit so that a certain percentage of each paycheck is automatically put into your savings account. This way you don’t have to worry about remembering to transfer the money.
If you are making use of credit cards to buy daily necessities such as food and gas, you need to re-evaluate your spending habits before you end up in financial ruin. Necessities and then savings should take priority when spending your money. If you continue to spend money you don’t have, you’re setting yourself for huge debt problems in the future.
Bonds are a very stable and solid investment that you can make if you want to plan for the future. These forms of investments are purchased at a fraction of what they will be worth in the future. Invest in bonds if you want to earn a solid payback in the future upon maturity.
If you have a parent or other relative with good credit, consider repairing your credit score by asking them to add you an authorized user on their card. This will immediately bump up your score, as it will show up on your report as an account in good standing. You don’t even actually have to use the card to gain a benefit from it.
Make a budget and stick to it. Write it down with a pen and paper and make sure you are specific about how you plan on your money to be spent. Review your budget often to see if there are any changes that need to be made. This will help you get organized and save money.
Use an online digital calendar to track your personal finances. You can make note of when you need to pay bills, do taxes, check your credit score, and many other important financial matters. The calendar can be set to send you email alerts, in order to remind you of when you need to take action.
Pay yourself every paycheck. After you have paid for necessities like rent and have set aside money for food and gas, divert some money to a savings account, if you possibly can. It doesn’t have to be a lot- even $10 biweekly adds up to over 260 dollars a year, which makes a great emergency fund.
Avoid impulse buying and extra trips to the store for single items. Keep a running shopping list on your refrigerator door or in some other convenient location. Add items to your list as you run out or as you think of them. Before you go shopping, review your list and add any other items you can think of. Follow your list closely in the store and check out and leave when you have gotten each item you need. This method will save you money, time and gas.
Like dieting, budgeting can be very painful if you are unreasonable in your goals. Severely restricting yourself will invariably lead to failure. Instead, set realistic goals for saving and spending your money. Setting extreme limits for yourself will make it much easier and tempting for you to fall off the wagon.
If you are young, ignore the conventional wisdom of investing in 80 percent stocks and 20 percent bonds, and instead aim for a 50-50 balance. Given the volatility of the market, you can still lose quite a bit by putting most of your money in stocks. Having a mix of both may reduce your returns a little bit, but it might also cushion you against huge losses.
Now that you’ve read all of our tips, you should be ready to begin managing your personal finances properly. If you’re new to the world of personal finance, you may consider bookmarking this article so that you can come back to it when you need to. If you need more information, there are plenty of other pieces of advice floating around just waiting to help you.