It is strange that, considering the vital nature of the subject, many people lack training in managing their personal finances. Personal finance skills can save money, improve savings and increase one’s effective income. Fortunately, it is never too late to educate yourself on the subject. Here are a few quick personal finance tips that anyone might find useful:
When it comes to your own finances, always remain involved and make your own decisions. While it’s perfectly fine to rely on advice from your broker and other professionals, make sure that you are the one to make the final decision. You’re playing with your own money and only you should decide when it’s time to buy and when it’s time to sell.
If you can cut at least one point, refinance your current home mortgage. The refinancing costs are considerable, but it will be worth it if you can lower your interest rate by at least one percent. Refinancing your home mortgage will lower the overall interest you pay on your mortgage.
Hiring a credit repair company can help you with some of the legwork involved in cleaning up your credit report, but beware of shady companies that make false or misleading claims. These companies may allege that you can start fresh with a clean credit report by using an Employee Identification number (EIN) rather than your Social Security number. However, they neglect to tell you that requesting an EIN from the IRS for this reason is a federal crime.
To improve your personal finance habits, make your budgets simple as well as personal. Instead of creating general categories, stick closely to your own individual spending habits and weekly expenses. A detailed and specific account will allow you to closely keep track of how and where you spend your income.
An income tax refund is not the most efficient way to save. If you get a large refund every year, you should probably lower the amount of withholding and invest the difference where it will earn some interest. If you lack the discipline to save regularly, start an automatic deduction from your paycheck or an automatic transfer to your savings account.
Make note of free financial services whenever they are mentioned. Banks often tell their customers about free services they offer at the most inopportune times. The wise customer does not let these opportunities slip away. If a teller offers the customer free financial planning services when he or she is in a rush, for example, the customer can make note of the offer and come back to take advantage of it at a better time.
If you are a college student, make sure that you sell your books at the end of the semester. Often, you will have a lot of students at your school in need of the books that are in your possession. Also, you can put these books online and get a large percentage of what you originally paid for them.
As tempting as it may be to invest in a credit repair program, spend some time online to find one that is free. They are all over the web and many times cover the same steps for credit repair as the ones that you pay for do. Save yourself some money by looking for the ones that are not going to cost you.
It is never too early to teach children about personal finance and savings. If they earn an allowance, have them set aside a percentage into a piggy bank or a savings account (if they’re old enough to have one). They can also do the same with money they receive for birthdays or holidays.
Investing in the stock market can be a great way to watch your money grow. The higher the risk you take when investing, the higher the payoff usually is. It can be very emotional to watch the ebb and flow of your invested money, so make sure to do plenty of research on the risk, as well as, the reward that comes with investing in stocks.
Spending less than you earn is the number one way to financial freedom. This ensures that you have money to save and you do not acquire debt that will keep you in the hole! It is always good not to have debt hanging over your head causing stress in your life.
Save yourself the hassle of worrying about holiday shopping right around the holidays. Shop for the holidays year around by looking for deals on things you know you will be buying the next year. If you are buying clothes, buy them out of season when they go onto the clearance racks!
Learning to handle money wisely is a great idea for self-improvement. By taking care of finances, a wise person reaps the same benefits that they would by getting a raise. After all, making dollars stretch further is just as effective as making more dollars. Time spent refining personal finance skills is never time wasted.