Personal finance is a tricky but critical skill in today’s world. Unfortunately, it’s something that is not taught very well or even at all, by many parents and schools. If you want to learn some good advice on the subject, keep reading this article to discover a few pointers that you may not be currently aware of.
Resist buying something just because it is on sale if what is on sale is not something that you need. Buying something that you do not really need is a waste of money, no matter how much of a discount you are able to get. So, try to resist the temptation of a big sales sign.
Your home and your car will almost always be your biggest purchases. A large portion of your budget will likely be devoted towards interest and payments for these items. Try to get the balance down by at least sending in one additional payment every year or applying some of your tax return money to the balance.
Having a savings plan is important, so always plan for a rainy day. You should strive to have enough money in the bank to cover your essential bills for six months. Should you lose your job, or run into an emergency situation, the extra money will get you through.
Set up a deduction from your paycheck to automatically go to your savings account. Saving is much easier when it requires no further conscious action. As you begin to think of your spendable income as the new, smaller amount, you can adjust your budget accordingly while your savings keep growing with every deposit.
Pay yourself first. Each month, put a little money from your paycheck into an emergency savings account. At some point, you may be faced with unplanned expenses, and this way you will be able to take care of them without having to resort to a credit card. If possible, try to build up an emergency fund that can cover at least three months of living expenses.
Jump start your saving efforts by immediately setting aside even the smallest amount possible and depositing it in a piggy bank, jar, or coffee can. Resist the urge to constantly count your savings as it may lead to discouragement in the earliest days. The trick is simply to make regular contributions and eliminate withdrawals.
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.
Put timers on your electrical lights. It is amazing how much leaving one or two unneeded lights burning in the house will inflate your electrical bill over time. Children, in particular, have problems remembering to turn lights off. In rooms like the bathroom, where time spent there is minimal, timers can really pay off.
To really be in control of your personal finances, you must know what your daily and monthly expenses are. Write down a list of all of your bills, including any car payments, rent or mortgage, and even your projected grocery budget. This will tell you how much money you have to spend every month, and give you a good place to start when making a household budget.
If your employer offers a 401(k) with matching funds, take the maximum deduction from your paycheck. Your company’s matching funds are like an automatic return on your money, on top of the returns from your 401(k) investment choices. Not taking full advantage of the match is like refusing free money.
Look for a free checking account, as there is no need to waste money unnecessarily. Get something that has no minimum balance requirement, no transaction fees and no monthly fees. The majority of banks still offer free, no interest checking accounts. Others have checking accounts that can be free if you sign up for direct deposit.
The general lack of knowledge of personal financial management was mentioned earlier, but now that you have read this far, you have hopefully learned a few key tricks and tips that will make money management easier for you. Apply what you have read and you are sure to see results in the coming weeks and months.