In today’s fast-paced world, it can be far too easy to view personal finances as simply checking your bank account a few times a month. Sound personal finance, however, requires a more in-depth focus to help your financial future. This article will discuss some of the basics of personal finance.
To get the most out of your money and your food -stop buying processed foods. Processed foods are simple and convenient, but can be very expensive and nutritionally poor. Try looking at the ingredients list on one of your favorite frozen meals. Then the shop for the ingredients at the store and cook it yourself! You’ll have a lot more food than you would have if you had purchased the dinner. Furthermore, you may have spent less money!
Get a high yield savings account. Your rainy day funds or emergency savings should be stored in a savings account with the highest interest rate you can find. Do not use CD’s or other term savings which would penalize you for taking your money out early. These accounts need to be liquid in case you need to use them for emergencies.
If you are currently paying for your checking account, it’s time to find a new one. Banks compete for your business, and so many offer free checking with amenities and services similar to those you used to have to pay for. Shop around and find one that won’t charge you on a monthly basis.
Write down numbers for contacting service providers such as your credit cards and bank in the event of loss or theft. With these toll-free numbers at hand, reporting and canceling will be much easier. They will also help if you need to find locations to get cash quickly. Store these numbers in your phone as well, but keep a written copy in case of phone issues.
When you make note of expenses in your check ledger, always round up your numbers to the next dollar. When you make a deposit, round down. In this way, you will build a little padding into your checking account to help you avoid overdrafts. When your “slush fund” has built up enough to help you eliminate monthly fees, continue deducting them anyway. They will be set aside in your checking account and will add to your savings.
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.
When you go to meet a landlord for the first time, dress the same way that you would if you were going to a job interview. Essentially, you have to impress your landlord, so showing him or her, that you are well put together, will only serve to make them impressed by you.
Get into a real savings habit. The hardest thing about savings is forming the habit of setting aside money — of paying yourself first. Rather than berate yourself each month when you use up all your funds, be sneaky and set up an automatic deduction from your main bank account into a savings account. Set it up so that you never even see the transaction happening, and before you know it, you’ll have the savings you need safely stashed away.
Sometimes your credit score may be penalized by shutting down all of your credit card accounts at once. You can continue to pay on all of your accounts, but consider carrying only one or two cards in your purse or wallet at any time. You will be forced to carefully choose your credit purchases and avoid temptation.
Be sure to include tax planning in your household budget. Typically, the more money you make, the more taxes that you are required to pay. It is usually best to consult an accountant to see what tax breaks you can take advantage of to minimize the impact on your budget.
Check your credit report regularly. There are even means to check your report for free. Make sure that you do this twice a year to ensure that there are not any unauthorized changes on your report, or someone has not committed identity theft using your name and information.
Enlist the help of a friend to cut the fat from your spending. Let a trusted friend or family member look at your budget and spending habits. Sometimes the unbiased eye of another person will bring to light an area in which you can but back or are overspending.
Personal finance is used in one way or another by everyone. Yet, many people take too passive a role when it comes to their own finances. By heeding the advice given in this article, you can take charge of your own finances, a must for you to be successful in your future.