In these hard financial times, even for those of us lucky enough to be gainfully employed keeping your finances straight can be such a challenge. With the cost of everything from milk and eggs to gas rising, saving is near impossible. This article will offer some advice on personal finance.
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.
The stock market is in a dangerous state right now, so don’t take any big investment risks unless you’re willing to lose a lot of money. Any investment might seem like a good idea at first, but there are a lot of factors that affect stock prices and unless you’re an expert, you won’t see them coming.
Cooking at home can give you a lot of extra money and help your personal finances. While it may take you some extra time to cook the meals, you will save a lot of money by not having to pay another company to make your food. The company has to pay employees, buy materials and fuel and still have to profit. By taking them out of the equation, you can see just how much you can save.
Start saving money for your children’s college education as soon as they are born. College is a very large expense, but by saving a small amount of money every month for 18 years you can spread the cost. Even if you children do not go to college the money saved can still be used towards their future.
A good tip when it comes to personal finances, is to not buy impulsively. A good majority of all retail spending is on impulsive purchases. Rather, if you see something you want, analyze it on a scale of want to need and then give yourself a 24 hour cool down period before buying it. This should stop a lot of impulse buys.
Take a snapshot of your spending habits. Keep a journal of absolutely everything that you purchase for at least a month. Every dime must be accounted for in the journal in order to be able to truly see where your money is going. After the month is over, review and see where changes can be made.
Creating a budget is extremely important. Many people avoid it, but you will not be able to save money if you do not track your finances. Make sure to write down all income and expenses no matter how small it may seem. Small purchases can add up to a big chunk of your outgoing funds.
If you are currently renting, start saving. Once you have an idea of the monthly mortgage payment you qualify for, save the difference between that amount and your current rent payment. This will get you used to making a larger monthly payment, and any savings can be put towards your down payment for your new home.
If you generally keep at least a few thousand dollars in your checking account, consider opening up a new account with a well-known online bank. Unlike many physical banks, certain online institutions offer high-interest checking accounts that can actually earn money on your balance. Some also offer reduced fees for ATM or debit card usage as well.
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.
Set up your savings account in a different bank than your checking account, and don’t give yourself online or ATM access. Do all of your savings account business in person, by mail or via the night drop at your bank. In this way, you will discipline yourself to leave your savings account undisturbed and eliminate the temptation to access it except in extreme emergency.
Try reducing non-essential monthly spending, rather than totally eliminating it. If you’ve been eating out frequently, for example, this is probably not sustainable. But, eating out half of the time you do now can satisfy your craving, while saving you money.
Making your money stretch is important when dealing with personal financial issues. One way in which you can work to save money is to start looking at used items instead of new items. If that stove breaks, check out a place like Craigslist for some deals on quality items. You can save upwards of 80%.
Even though times are tough it is still feasible to get a handle on your finances. Whether it be by investing, scrimping and saving, or by sheer manpower, it is possible. This article offered some advice on how to handle your personal finances so that these tough financial times won’t be as tough.