From credit cards to retirement plans, knowing how to manage your money wisely is a critical life skill. From the time you get your first job and start earning a paycheck, personal financial management becomes a way of providing yourself with both current and future needs. The following article gives you a host of advice and information on the best ways to spend, save and invest your hard-earned money, no matter the size of your check.
When it comes to your own finances, always remain involved and make your own decisions. While it’s perfectly fine to rely on advice from your broker and other professionals, make sure that you are the one to make the final decision. You’re playing with your own money and only you should decide when it’s time to buy and when it’s time to sell.
Choose a broker that you can trust and are comfortable with. Never deal with a broker who is less than completely honest and forthcoming with you, and look for sterling references from other clients. Tailor your broker choice to your experience level, as well.
Department stores will feed on their customers purchasing items at retail price, which can drain a bank account very quick. Instead of falling for this, go into all of your favorite stores and find the sale or clearance rack. Typically, you will find great deals on quality items in this section.
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.
Setting the water level in your toilet is a great way to decrease the amount of water that is used for each flush. There are simple blocks that hang inside your tank that will decrease the amount of water that is needed to fill your tank and shut the water flow off.
Study your losses and learn from them. Many people like to ignore their losses and move on, but investigating them helps you to avoid making the same mistakes again. And after all, these mistakes cost you money; consider them a mini-course in what not to do and then you move on.
When in doubt about borrowing money-don’t. Interest is extremely expensive, adding up to 20% or even more to your purchases, which is the same as making 20% less money! Wherever possible try to save up for a purchase on your own, and buy it later rather than taking out a loan to get it now.
If you’re looking to take out a loan, make sure you shop around on interest rates, and let banks know if you’ve seen a better deal elsewhere. Banks are very competitive for business, despite often trying to seem intimidating and as though the customer is at their mercy. Turn the tables and make them compete to provide you with the best loan.
Splurge every now and then. No one likes the feeling of deprivation, and if you know that you have the freedom to have one big meal or one pair of shoes every now and then, you will have a feeling of mastery over your finances. Don’t overdo it, but a small luxury purchase periodically is worth it.
Consider signing up for a flexible spending account. An FSA lets you pay for medical, dependent care or transportation costs with pretax dollars put aside at each paycheck. By paying with pretax dollars, you are basically getting a discount on all these expenses. If your job offers a flexible spending account, contact the employee benefits department about it.
A good personal finance tip is to keep an eye on your credit score and make sure it’s always in good standing. Using a credit card when you don’t have enough money in your account can damage your credit score. Having a good credit score can make a huge difference.
While it may seem at times that you just don’t have enough money to cover all of your current expenses, in addition to saving for the future, there are many ways to cut costs and improve your spending habits. By following the advice in this article, you can learn how to make every penny count so that you can provide for your needs both now and then.