Having money to spend is nice! However, spending what you cannot afford is not! Take a glance at these simple tips to help you manage your personal finances, and allow you to spend what you need while saving for what you want.
Use a card for small purchases each month such as groceries and gas and pay it off or pay off a majority of the balance each month. This will show creditors that you are capable of handling your card and being responsible with payments. Doing this on a regular basis will help to repair that bad credit score that you currently have.
If your bank is suddenly adding fees for things that were previously free, like charging a monthly fee to have an ATM card, it might be time to investigate other options. Shop around to find a bank that wants you as a customer. Regional banks might offer better options than large national banks and if you are eligible to join a credit union, add them to your comparison shopping, too.
If you are fortunate enough to have any extra money in your checking account, be wise and don’t leave it there. Even if it’s only a few hundred bucks and only a one percent interest rate, at least it is in a traditional savings account working for you. Some people have a thousand or more dollars sitting in interest free accounts. This is simply unwise.
If you are engaged to be married, consider protecting your finances and your credit with a prenup. Prenuptial agreements settle property disputes in advance, should your happily-ever-after not go so well. If you have older children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can also help confirm their right to your assets.
Don’t put off saving for and investing in your retirement. Take advantage of work based plans like a 401k. If your employer is contributing to your 401k make sure to do everything you can to optimize that contribution. Roth 401ks allow you to withdraw from your fund without tax penalty if you qualify.
Pay yourself first. When you get your paycheck, set aside a certain amount for your savings account first. Don’t pay bills, don’t buy anything, just take some money and put it aside for a rainy day. This will ensure that when a rainy day does come along, you already have a little help.
Pack your lunch. Most people spend the most money in their day during lunchtime. This is because most people get up and don’t make time to prepare lunch before work. That means they have to pay out of pocket for lunch unless they wait for dinner. Making a quick lunch will save that money.
Make it a habit to review your credit report often. There are a lot of ways to see your credit report at no cost. Be sure to check your credit report every year as a way to make sure that there aren’t an inaccuracies.
Save money on home improvement by doing it yourself, instead of hiring a professional. There are plenty of do it yourself classes offered at home improvement stores, and also many articles and videos online to show you exactly the steps you need to take to do these improvements in your home.
Diversify your investments using mutual funds. It’s difficult and expensive for a small investor to create a diversified portfolio using individual securities, but a no-load mutual fund can provide instant diversification at low cost. You can invest as little as $1000 in a fund that holds anywhere from 20 to several hundred securities, for an annual fee as low as 1%. Diversification helps to lower investment risk by reducing dependence on any one security to provide a favorable return.
Now are you ready to take control of your personal finances? Hopefully, these tips will help you manage your money wisely! Remember, to be patient! What you may not be able to do today, may not be true tomorrow!