Getting your personal finances in order and keeping them that way is an important skill – perhaps a more important one now than ever. Between the high-powered financial options anyone can take advantage of and the time-saving shortcuts anyone can abuse, it is all too easy to lose control of your money. Here are some basic tips about hanging on to your personal financial reins.
If you rent your home, make sure you get renters insurance to cover you in case of a loss, such as fire, wind damage and theft. Renters insurance is extremely inexpensive. If there is a natural disaster, the owner of your home is covered for their loss of property but you are not covered unless you have your own policy.
If you can afford to do so, open an installment account, such as a loan or car payment. These will add extra weight onto your credit profile and will increase your credit score as long as it stays within your debt to income ratio. Be careful and only take on debt you can afford.
When it comes to finances one of the most intelligent things to do is avoid credit card debt. Only spend the money if you actually have it. The typical ten percent interest rates on a credit card can cause charges to add up very quickly. If you find yourself already in debt, it is prudent to pay early and often overpay.
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.
When you are saving for an emergency fund, aim for at least three to six months worth of living expenses. This is not a large amount, considering the difficulty in finding employment if you ever lose your job. In fact, the larger the emergency fund, the better position you would be in to ride out any unforeseen financial catastrophes.
Change your cell phone plan. When you sign up to an expensive monthly cell phone plan you can end up paying for talk minutes that don’t use. So, the next time your cell phone contract is due for renewal consider switching to a cheaper plan and you could save $20 a month or more.
If you work or go to school full time, try to bring lunch every day. Making a sandwich will save you 6 to 8 dollars on the food that you would buy if you went out to eat at lunch. Bring your lunch to work or school every day to avoid extra spending.
One of the things that you can do as a form of additional income is venture to the nearest yard sales in your area. Purchase items for cheap that could be worth something and resell these products online. This can help a lot by adding a couple hundred dollars to your bank account.
Try to avoiding using your credit card unless it is absolutely necessary. For smaller purchases, go the cash route. New legislation allows stores to require a credit card minimum of $10 for transactions. Make sure to carry cash or a debit card if you intend to make under $10 in purchases.
Gaining control of your finances is not just economically prudent. It can be a source of great personal satisfaction and even pride. Using methods like those outlined above, you can keep a tight leash on your personal finances and bring your money to heel. Personal finance is all about making your money behave the way you want it to.