There are thousands of Americans who are in bad financial situations because they don’t take any time to manage their budget each month. Make sure that you stay on top of your personal finances by arming yourself with the following tips. Once you have a basic understanding of finances, your life will become much less stressful.
When you are saving for an emergency fund, aim for at least three to six months worth of living expenses. This is not a large amount, considering the difficulty in finding employment if you ever lose your job. In fact, the larger the emergency fund, the better position you would be in to ride out any unforeseen financial catastrophes.
If you are looking for the best deals, take the middle man out of the equation. Sites like Expedia and Travelocity can include transactions fees (though some have been reducing them or even eliminating them). Take a look at the prices directly available at the websites of the airlines and hotels you are considering. You may find that it is cheaper.
Turn your unwanted items around the house into money in your pocket with a simple yard sale event. You could also consider selling some of your neighbors items for them and charge a nominal fee for your services. Creativity is one of the most important factors towards a successful garage sale.
Change your cell phone plan. When you sign up to an expensive monthly cell phone plan you can end up paying for talk minutes that don’t use. So, the next time your cell phone contract is due for renewal consider switching to a cheaper plan and you could save $20 a month or more.
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.
If your bank is charging you fees for checking or if you do not have a particular minimum account balance, then change banks. There are a million and one banks out there that are want your business and will earn it by not charging you fees to hold your money.
Raking leaves can be a good way for one to build ties with their neighbors while also creating a source of income for ones personal finances as long as the individual lives in a seasonal area. Raking leaves will provide a steady job for those who are willing to offer their services.
One of the most important things a consumer can do in today’s economy is be financially smart about credit cards. In the past consumers were allowed to write off interest on their credit cards on their tax return. For some years now this has no longer been the case. For this reason, the most important habit consumers can have is pay off as much of their credit card balance as possible.
Find out if you will get a discount for making your payments automatically. Many times if you mail your payment you will be charged as much as $5.00 per month. You may find that there is a nice discount for you if you set up an automatic payment through your checking account or credit card.
Make sure that you review your investment portfolio periodically to see if your investment mix is still suitable to your life goals. You might need to rebalance your mix if there have been any major life changes. Keep in mind that every time you trade shares in and out of your portfolio, you may incur trading fees, so think carefully before you move any assets around.
So, you’re trying to get your personal finances under control! Good for you! Where do you start? If your debt is from various sources, first focus on paying down the high-interest debt from credit cards. This will help you avoid any unnecessary problems. Credit companies have a lot of pull in our society. If you default, they can go after you via court, paycheck docking, and other tactics to get their money!
If you want to cut down on your hot water bill, consider using cold or warm water when doing your laundry. Cold water uses less energy than hot water which will save you money in the long run. Only use hot water when you have to.
After incorporating these tips into your life, you will see how much more control you have over your money than you previously believed. It is no longer necessary for you to just leave the month’s bills up to fate. By being pro-active, you will build a savings that will help you well into the future.