Managing personal finances is something that everyone must learn in order to be successful. While it may not seem easy, it is made much simpler by learning the right strategies and techniques, earlier instead of later. Read on to find helpful tips for helping you to get a better handle on your personal finances.
Unless you have no other choice, do not accept grace periods from your credit card company. It seems like a great idea, but the problem is you get used to not paying your card. Paying your bills on time has to become a habit, and it’s not a habit you want to get away from.
When it comes to personal finances, pay yourself first. When you get paid, put at least ten percent of your pre-tax income into savings before you use your pay check to do other things. If you get in the habit of doing this you will never miss that money and you will be building your savings account.
To assure you always have money when you need it, create an emergency fund. It is best to have between three and six months income in a savings account that you can easily access. Doing this will assure you have money set aside in times when you absolutely need it.
Set up a plan that automatically saves your money with your bank to ensure that a portion of your cash is sent into a savings account every single month via your checking account. This technique allows you to save a little money every month. This approach is ideal for anyone who expects to experience a special occasion in the near future.
If you have a good credit score, be careful about co-signing for someone, especially if they have a bad score or are not likely to pay off their debt. Co-signing does not improve your own score in any way and puts a lot of pressure on you. Do it if you are sure that the person you are co-signing for can do the same for you.
Check and see if you are getting the best cell phone plan for your needs. If you’ve been on the same plan for the past few years, you probably could be saving some money. Most companies will do a free review of your plan and let you know if something else would work better for you, based on your usage patterns.
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.
Make sure you’re not spending more than you’re earning each month. The easiest way to dig yourself into a hole of debt that’s near impossible to dig yourself out of is to use credit cards to spend more than you’re earning. Make sure you’re being responsible with your money and not overextending yourself.
Sometimes your credit score may be penalized by shutting down all of your credit card accounts at once. You can continue to pay on all of your accounts, but consider carrying only one or two cards in your purse or wallet at any time. You will be forced to carefully choose your credit purchases and avoid temptation.
If you’re trying to improve your personal budget, one easy way to get yourself in the mindset is to get your paycheck put directly into a savings account rather than checking or cash. This will help get you in the habit of saving money and not thinking of it all as disposable income.
Start saving. Many people don’t have a savings account, presumably because they feel they don’t have enough free money to do so. The truth is that saving as little as 5 dollars a day will give you an extra hundred dollars a month. You don’t have to save a lot of money to make it worth it.
Start planning your retirement early. Take advantage of everything your employer offers in terms of pension contributions, and invest as much as possible in an IRA. Don’t underestimate the cost of retirement: most people need 70 percent of their current income to live comfortably, and Social Security only covers about 30 percent.
If you make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or want to retain your assets, file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. This type of bankruptcy allows you draw up a payment plan in which you pay the trustee a specified amount each month, which is then disbursed to your creditors. If you make timely payments over the life of the 3-5 year plan, the rest of your debt is wiped out.
It is important that you focus on having discipline when it comes to managing your personal finances. Make sure that you remember the tips you have read in this article as you continue along your journey. You will find yourself handling your money better, budgeting better, and saving much more money.