A lot of people need assistance keeping their personal finances in order. Some people may need help saving and planning their portfolios, others just need help pinching pennies and making the most of what they currently have. Hopefully, these tips will help you regardless of which of those situations you relate to the most.
To establish a good credit history or repair a bad one, you will want to keep your credit card balances low. You should never let your balance get anywhere near your maximum credit line. Having reasonable balances that you pay off regularly is a sign of a responsible credit user who can be trusted with debt.
Get a rewards credit card. No-fee reward cards are the best if you need a credit card. Reward cards give you rewards on various things that you typically use such as hotel rooms, airline tickets and store rewards. Be sure you pay the card off every month and pay on time to avoid interest and late fees.
To find out where your money is going record all of your spending. For at least a month, write down every single time you spend money, and what you are spending the money on. After you have done this for the month, review your spending habits and make changes as necessary.
Set up internet banking and online bill pay. Having your accounts and your bills online is a quick and easy way to see what you have paid and what you still need to pay, all in one quick and easy step. It takes very little time to pay and manage your bills when they are all in one safe place. You won’t lose track of things as easily.
Consider having a savings account that automatically debits from your paycheck each month. One of the hardest parts of saving is getting into the habit of saving and having it taken out automatically, removes this step. Also, automatically refilling your savings account means that it won’t be depleted if you do need to dip into it for any type of emergencies, especially if it’s more than once.
If you are accustomed to paying your bills by mail, it is optimal to switch to online bill pay. Every bill that you send out by mail will cost you 40-50 cents with postage. Pay online so you do not have to worry about this fee in your daily and weekly expenses.
If you are trying to improve your credit score, consider finding a way to transfer debt to “invisible” locations. If you can pay a delinquent account off by borrowing from a friend or family member, your credit score will only reflect that you paid it off. If you go this route, make sure to sign something with your lender that gives them the power to take you to court should you fail to pay, for extra security.
When paying down your debt avoid unnecessary expenses such as credit monitoring services. You are able to attain a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies each year. Apply the extra cash to your debt instead of paying a third party company to monitor your credit report.
A great tip for personal finances is to never buy anything with cash. It is very difficult to track cash and know penny for penny where your money is going. Rather you should use your bank card for everything, and write down in a journal or budget log every time you use it. Then analyze it at the end of the month and determine where you need to cut back.
If you are upside down on your home, think about “strategic default.” This is the practice of intentionally defaulting on a loan because the asset the loan is paying for has dropped in value. This is an especially good idea if your financial situation is such that you will probably face foreclosure in the future anyway.
Tackle your debt by paying down the highest-interest debts first. Typically, the highest interest rates are on credit card debt. Prioritizing the repayment of high-interest debt can save you thousands of dollars in interest charges, depending on your balances. As a bonus, putting money toward your debt is a risk-free way to “make” money, since you won’t incur future interest charges on debt that you no longer owe!
Start building your investment portfolio early in life! Even if you have to start small, research shows that the length of time you are investing matters more than the amount of money you start with. Starting early also allows you to take advantage of compounding interest, a process by which your money grows over time.
Now that you have these tips at your disposal, you are slightly more prepared to take better care of your financial situation. There are many other ways that you can better care for your personal finances. Be sure to stay organized and plan ahead and your financial stability will be much more predictable.