With the economy being in as much turmoil as it is, it is important to have a good hand on your personal finances. It is important to be organized and to closely watch your expenditures or else you’ll find yourself in debt before you know it. This article can help prevent that.
Pay all your bills on time to avoid late fees. These fees add up and start to take on a life of their own. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, one late fee can throw everything off. Avoid them like the plague by making paying bills on time a commitment.
When managing your finances, focus on savings first. Approximately ten percent of your pre-tax income should go into a savings account each time you get paid. While this is difficult to do in the short run, in the long-term, you’ll be glad you did it. Savings prevent you from having to use credit for unexpected large expenses.
Groceries are essential to purchase during the course of the week, as it should be your mission to limit the amount you spend when you are at the supermarket. One of the ways that you can do this is to ask for a supermarket card, which will give you all of the deals in the store.
If you are a college student, make sure that you sell your books at the end of the semester. Often, you will have a lot of students at your school in need of the books that are in your possession. Also, you can put these books online and get a large percentage of what you originally paid for them.
Get a checking account that is free. Paying fees to access your money can cost you quite a bit in the long run. Many banks are doing away with free accounts, but a little leg work will help you find what you are looking for. Avoid losing hundreds of dollars to fees every year.
Contact your credit card company and have them lower the limit on your credit card. This helps you two fold. First, it keeps you from overextending yourself and spending more than you should. Second, it sends a message to the credit card company that you’re being responsible by making sure you can’t overextend yourself.
Recycle and reuse to save big bucks. Why constantly add to the environmental problems associated with manufacturing and landfills? Anything that can possibly be reused should be reused. It’s not shameful to do this. It is practical and admirable not just from an environmental standpoint but also from a personal finance standpoint.
If you want to be able to efficiently manage your personal finances one of the things that you need to define is your budget. Not having a defined budget is like driving a car without a steering wheel. A well defined budget will help you define your priorities in terms of spending.
Always carry a debit card or 10 dollar bill with you to cover small purchases. New laws state that you may have to spend a certain amount to be able to pay the bill with your credit card.
Be aware of your family’s bills and income. This is especially important for women, as they often leave the financial management up to their husbands. If your spouse should pass away, or even just become incapacitated for a time by an illness, this will be extremely important. You need to know what money you have coming in and where it is going.
Unless you want to deal with a lot of financial problems going forward, you should avoid co-signing a loan for friends or family. If they need a co-signer, the odds are good that they’re not that dependable in the credit department. Their failure to pay down debt leaves you on the hook with the creditors.
Risking your retirement savings is something you should do only under extreme circumstances. There are always options, so avoid loans and their like. Don’t mess up your future to repair the present situation at hand!
Get out of debt by concentrating the bulk of your monthly credit card payments only on those cards that you are paying interest on. If you happen to have cards that are interest-free, simply pay the monthly minimum. Focus your finances on clearing out the cards that are regularly contributing to your overall debt levels.
Approach credit and utility companies to try to manipulate the payments so that you do not have several payments due at one time. It is going to help you make your payments more manageable if you are not stuck with several payments out of one paycheck. This can be done with a simple phone call.
These hard financial times don’t have to envelop you like they have nearly everyone else. If you are prudent, wise, and organized, you can prevent the tragedy of debt from befalling you. This article has armed you with the advice necessary to prevent and prepare yourself from falling into the hands of debt.