Getting your personal finances in order and keeping them that way is an important skill – perhaps a more important one now than ever. Between the high-powered financial options anyone can take advantage of and the time-saving shortcuts anyone can abuse, it is all too easy to lose control of your money. Here are some basic tips about hanging on to your personal financial reins.
It may be helpful to keep a small envelope in your purse or bag whenever you go shopping. That way, you have a safe place you can store business cards and receipts. By holding onto these, you will have a record of all expenditures. These may come in handy, especially on the off chance that you end up double charged.
To help with personal finance, if you’re normally a frugal person, consider taking out a credit card which you can use for your day to day spending, and which you will pay off in full each month. This will ensure you get a great credit rating, and be much more beneficial than sticking to cash or debit card.
Take advantage of student or senior discounts wherever you can. Certain stores offer the discounts every day, while others limit them to specific days of the week or one day per month. It does take a little work to find out the details of the discounts, but if you can save on the things you would buy anyway it is worth the effort.
To keep your personal financial life afloat, you should put a portion of every paycheck into savings. In the current economy, that can be hard to do, but even small amounts add up over time. Interest in a savings account is usually higher than your checking, so there is the added bonus of accruing more money over time.
When trying to arrange your personal finances you should build fun, spending money into the equation. When you have gone out of your way to include entertainment in your budget, it ensures that you remain content. Secondly, it ensures that you are reasonable and have a budget already in place, which allows for entertainment.
Taking advantage of a bank’s program to automatically make deposits into a savings account, can be a wise personal finance move. Many banks offer such programs. They take a fixed percentage of every deposit or a set monthly sum out of a customer’s checking account and deposit it in a savings account. This can help the customer build up savings without any hassle.
Write your budget down if you want to stick to it. There is something very concrete about writing something down. It makes your income versus spending very real and helps you to see the benefits of saving money. Evaluate your budget monthly to make sure it’s working for you and that you really are sticking to it.
Heating can be the largest household expense during the winter months. Some heating types are more expensive than others. If you live in an area where the winter is cold, don’t rent a place with electric heating. As electricity is the most expensive energy source, stay away from rentals with any kind of electric heating system.
Even careful planning cannot always avert a financial crisis. You should find out now what fees and penalties you will face for late or missed payments, so you can prepare for the worst. Before you get into a lease, you should review your options.
One of the best things that you can do in order to effectively manage your cash is by saving your “pennies”. Saving small amounts of money here and there will eventually add up to big savings in the long run. If you have the discipline to save on a small scale, it will be easier for you to be able to save on a much larger scale.
Use only free ATMs when you have a choice! A lot of people overlook the fact that some ATMs charge you a fee for their use. Your bank, however, should have ATMs that are available for your use that are free. Even when the ATM charges are only a few cents a transaction, they add up over time.
Be sure to use valuable coupons. Some coupons aren’t really worthwhile because they may be for brands that are more expensive, even with the coupon, than the brand you normally buy. However, there are other coupons for a percentage or set amount off your entire purchase at a store or for a significant amount off a product your normally purchase that can save you a tidy sum. Be sure to take advantage of those.
Gaining control of your finances is not just economically prudent. It can be a source of great personal satisfaction and even pride. Using methods like those outlined above, you can keep a tight leash on your personal finances and bring your money to heel. Personal finance is all about making your money behave the way you want it to.