Useful Personal Finance Tips That Everyone Can Use
The state of the economy is forcing many families to take a long
, hard, look at their wallets. Focusing on spending and saving may feel frustrating, but taking good care of your personal finances will only benefit you in the long run. Here are some great personal finance tips to help get you started.
While it may sound like an old-fashioned strategy, a great personal finance tip is to seek out grocery stores that offer double and triple coupon days. By studying your local paper and identifying the most shopper-friendly merchants, it is possible to stretch your dollar further than you ever thought possible.
Taking a loan is usually not a smart decision for your finances. You should look for other solutions before you borrow money from a financial institution. Perhaps you can use your savings, wait before you purchase what you need or borrow money from your friends or family. If you decide to take a loan, compare different options to find the best interest rate.
Insurance of all kinds can be expensive, which is why you should shop around. Many times, people settle with whatever insurance plan seems good at the time. This is a bad move, as you could be missing out on a much lower premium. Do your research to find the best rates available.
Purchase all household staples in bulk, if possible. While you may have to pay a small yearly fee to become a member at your local wholesaler, you will save a great deal more money in the long run. This is especially ideal for households with children. Stock up on economy size diapers, frozen foods, and paper products.
In order to improve your personal finances, it is helpful to keep track of your spending. One way that you can do this is to only make purchases using a debit or bank card. If you use cash, it is more difficult to track using budgeting software, whereas purchases made with bank cards can be tracked easily and help you to identify trends in your spending.
Budgeting is one of the most important things to do with personal finance. Write down everything you spend money on for one whole week or a pay cycle. This will force you to look at what you spend money on and perhaps reevaluate it. You can then see where you can cut back or spend more with.
Open a savings account, and start putting money aside. Ideally, you should be saving at least 25% of your income. You can adjust the amount of money you put aside to your other financial obligations. Use your savings when you find yourself in need, or to finance major projects.
If you are the kind of person who tends to shop whenever you feel stressed out, sad or bored, it may be time to rethink your approach. Instead of hitting the malls or surfing the Internet for good deals, try taking up yoga, picking up a book or solving a crossword puzzle. You'll save money and stay sane!
All your credit cards should be paid in full each month. When you aren't paying the full balance on your credit cards, you end up usually getting hit with high-interest charges. Make sure whatever you purchase that there is enough to pay for it at the end of the month. If you aren't paying your credit cards in full, you end up basically giving throwing away a lot of money.
Make more things at home. Instead of eating when you're out, take the time to make a small snack at home. Instead of having that espresso every day at the coffee shop, make some coffee for yourself at home and take it with you. This will help you cut costs.
Know when it is time to throw in the towel and make some changes. Many people repair their finances by applying bandaids that hurt them in the long run. Don't apply a bandaid; instead, make the necessary changes you need to make as soon as you see the opportunity is there.
Create a budget each month for any necessities, making sure to prioritize things like bills for rent or electricity. After that, pay back any personal debt so your friends or family won't feel like you are taking their help for granted. Always pay back debts that you have a timeframe to pay.
Get a piggy bank and put a few dollars in it every week and forget about it. Make that your fun money. After a few months, use it to have a nice, fun night out. That way, you won't feel guilty about having a night of entertainment because the money was already removed from your budget and accounted for.
When you purchase new things, do not opt for the extended warranty. Most of the time, items come with a limited warranty. That might be a month or two, or even a year. It is likely that the item will break in that time, if it is not quality, so buying the extra coverage is not really necessary.
If you find yourself wondering where all your money is going, it's time to start keeping track of where you spend your money. There are a number of phone apps and websites designed to let you see exactly what you're spending your money on. This is a great way to see where you might need to make some cutbacks.
Don't think about how little money you have when you grocery shop. Folks who do this instinctively buy the cheapest and thus, least nutritious bulk foods available. Their bodies starve for nutrients, and so they wind up eating out later in the week anyway. Go ahead and take care of your physical needs.
While no one wants to cut back on their spending, this is a great opportunity to develop healthy spending habits. Even when your financial situation improves, these tips will help you take care of your money and keep your finances stable. It's tough to change the way you deal with money, but it's worth the extra effort.
by: Chirag Savaliya
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