If you have made some poor financial decisions in the past or gotten into some bad spending habits, the time to break and fix those is now. There is no time like the present to focus on your income, your spending and your debt. The ideas that follow are ways that you can start to regain some control.
Talk to an investment representative or financial planner. Even though you may not be rolling in dough, or able to throw hundreds of dollars a month into an investment account, something is better than nothing. Seek their advice on the best options for your savings and retirement, and then start doing it today, even if it is only a few dollars a month.
Always consider a used car before buying new. Pay cash when possible, to avoid financing. A car will depreciate the minute you drive it off the lot. Should your financial situation change and you have to sell it, you might find it’s worth less than you owe. This can quickly lead to financial failure if you’re not careful.
Home equity loans are tempting but dangerous. If you miss a payment on a home equity loan, you could lose your home. Make sure that you can afford the monthly payments and that you have a significant emergency savings built up before taking out any loans against your home.
Always buy used cars over new and save yourself money. The biggest depreciation in car value happens during the first 10,000 miles it is driven. After that the depreciation becomes much slower. Buy a car that has those first miles on it to get a much better deal for just as good a car.
Avoid eating out to save money. Someone can save money by buying the ingredients to make healthy meals and cooking them at home. It is a great way for someone to feel pride in their meals and save money at the same time.
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.
Bonds are a very stable and solid investment that you can make if you want to plan for the future. These forms of investments are purchased at a fraction of what they will be worth in the future. Invest in bonds if you want to earn a solid payback in the future upon maturity.
Find out whether the utilities are included in the rent or you have to pay them separately. If you need to pay your utilities separately do some research and find out how much the average utility bill is. Make sure you can afford the utilities and the rent together or look for public assistance programs you may qualify for.
If you (or your spouse) has earned any type of income, you are eligible to be contributing to an IRA (Individual Retirement Account), and you need to be doing this right now. This is a great way to supplement any type of retirement plan that has limits in terms of investing.
Use an online digital calendar to track your personal finances. You can make note of when you need to pay bills, do taxes, check your credit score, and many other important financial matters. The calendar can be set to send you email alerts, in order to remind you of when you need to take action.
Pack your lunch for work! You can save so much money if you just plan ahead the night before and take the time to pack yourself something to eat instead of paying restaurant prices for lunch at work. You can splurge a few times a month and go out to eat with some coworkers!
If you are saving for your retirement it is recommended that you save 10-15% of your annual income when your are just starting out. Obviously, if you are older you will need to save more. You also need to save more if you will not retire with an mortgage free home. The sooner you get started the more you will have when you need it most.
Create an up to date financial plan. This will allow you to see how you are doing in all areas of your finances. Review any insurance plans, income taxes, estate and retirement planning, investments, savings and current debts. Be specific in your goals and be realistic. For more complex financial planning, it is a good idea to seek the services of a CPA.
Feeling like you are out of control in your own life is not a good way to live. Taking charge of your finances means that you need to really take a deeper look, find out what you have been doing and what you should be doing instead. This article has shown you how you can start to do just that.