Times are very tough during the current economic downturn. Jobs are scarce and unemployment is sky high. Because of this, it is extremely important, now more than ever, to know how to properly manage your personal finances. Continue reading this article to secure your financial health by saving and making more money than you ever thought possible.
Always look for ways to save. Audit yourself and your bills about once every six months. Take a look at competing businesses for services you use, to see if you can get something for less. Compare the cost of food at different stores, and make sure you are getting the best interest rates on your credit cards and savings accounts.
To improve your personal finance habits, keep track of the amount of cash you spend along with everything else. The physical act of paying with cash makes you mindful of exactly how much money is being spent, while it is much easier to spend large amounts with a credit or debit card.
A little maintenance, such as keeping the proper tire pressure or changing oil and other fluids at proper times, saves a lot of money by preventing damage. Tires and engines last longer and the mechanic may spot other problems while they are still small and relatively easy to repair. Your car runs better, gets better gas mileage and you save money.
For parents who want to get personal finances on their child’s mind as early as possible giving them an allowance can create a cash flow for them to develop their skills with. An allowance will teach them to save for desired purchases and how to manage their own money. Also the parent is still there to help them along.
Write your budget down if you want to stick to it. There is something very concrete about writing something down. It makes your income versus spending very real and helps you to see the benefits of saving money. Evaluate your budget monthly to make sure it’s working for you and that you really are sticking to it.
Setting the water level in your toilet is a great way to decrease the amount of water that is used for each flush. There are simple blocks that hang inside your tank that will decrease the amount of water that is needed to fill your tank and shut the water flow off.
Make your personal finance record-keeping more efficient and easy to read by marking debits and payments in your check registry using a bold, red ink pen. This will make you less likely to overlook withdrawals and debits and will also allow you to quickly verify all expenses as you balance your checkbook.
Giving children an allowance is a great way to introduce them to personal finance and teach them how to manage money. When they are given age-appropriate chores and paid for a job well done, not only are they motivated to continue doing good work, they are learning about responsibility and the value of a dollar.
US savings bonds are always a safe investment to make if you do not mind doubling your money every seven years. Purchasing savings bonds systematically can build up your portfolio rather quickly. Granted the returns are not quite as large as a good year in the stock market. However, they are high yielding, safe investments you can make.
Determine what your risk tolerance is before you start investing your money. Your risk tolerance influences your decision on what to invest in. If your risk tolerance is low, you are better off investing in cash-based investments. If your risk tolerance is high, you can explore the various emerging markets.
Discuss financial goals with your partner. This is especially important if you are thinking about getting married. Do you need to have a prenuptial agreement? This may be the case if one of you enters the marriage with a lot of prior assets. What are your mutual financial goals? Should you keep separate bank accounts or pool your funds? What are your retirement goals? These questions should be addressed prior to marriage, so you don’t find out at a later date that the two of you have completely different ideas about finances.
Make sure that you keep track of everything you spend, even the coffee or snacks that you purchase. The little expenditures can add up to big spending. By tracking these expenses, you can see where your money is going, and you will probably be surprised at how much you are spending on something that you can probably give up.
As was discussed earlier, the current economic downturn has created tough times for just about everyone. The unemployment rate is frighteningly high, and good jobs are hard to come by. Properly managing your personal finances can help protect you from going into debt and losing everything that you have worked so hard for. Take the information contained in this article and apply it to your life.