Learning about money is crucial to our survival. Grandma and grandpa didn’t have much money, so they learned to stretch what money they did have to the absolute limit and not waste money frivolously. Until recently, younger generations had not felt the financial squeeze. If you use these personal finance tips, you can stretch every dollar further.
Know your financial goals and limits and keep them in mind. You need to be aware of what it is that you can and cannot do in the market. If you lack this awareness, you may make a detrimental mistake in your finances, which can in turn, directly affect your financial goals.
When working with any personal finance company, watch out for scammers. As a general rule of thumb, if any offer sounds too good to be true then it usually is. Just read all of the fine print in the contracts, and if they do not offer any contract at all completely avoid their deals or promotions.
To improve your personal finance habits, keep track of your actual expenditure in comparison to the monthly budget that you plan. Take time at least once a week to compare the two to make sure that you are not over-spending. If you have spent more that you planned in the first week, you can make up for it in the weeks to come.
A major indicator of your financial health is your FICO Score so know your score. Creditors use the FICO Scores to decide how risky it is to give you credit. Each of the three major credit bureaus, Transunion, Equifax, and Experian, assigns a score to your credit record. That score goes up and down depending on your credit usage and payment history over time. A good FICO Score makes a huge difference in the interest rates you can get when buying a home or car. Check out your score before any major purchases to make sure it is a true reflection of your credit history.
The best way to manage your personal finances in the short-term is to maintain a monthly budget. Yes, budgeting can be annoying and difficult, but nothing else will let you see where your money goes. Tracking your spending and keeping a budget will help you build a savings account and limit unnecessary spending.
Make note of free financial services whenever they are mentioned. Banks often tell their customers about free services they offer at the most inopportune times. The wise customer does not let these opportunities slip away. If a teller offers the customer free financial planning services when he or she is in a rush, for example, the customer can make note of the offer and come back to take advantage of it at a better time.
If you don’t already have one, consider setting up a flexible spending account. Flexible spending accounts can help you save money on medical costs and daycare bills. These types of accounts permit you to allot a specific amount of untaxed dollars for healthcare or childcare expenses. There are limits to the amount allowed to be placed in a flex spending account, so you should consult a tax professional.
You can sell old items for a little extra money every week. If it is working or the person fixes it, then one can sell it for even more than a broken one. This is a much better alternative to running up interest on your credit cards.
Although one would never expect it, money can be made from spiders. Not just any spiders, but select tarantulas that are in high demand in the pet trade, can yield great benefits to one’s personal finances, if one chooses to breed them. If a person has an interest in spiders, they can use it to their gain.
Get yourself a free checking account. Checking accounts these days charge an average of about $13.00 in monthly fees, and usually require a minimum balance to keep the account free. Switch to a no-fee account that requires no minimum balance and does not charge per transaction. Try smaller banks in your community, online-only banks or credit unions.
Keep track of your bank account and credit cards to watch for fraudulent activity. If you see any charges that are not from you, let your bank or other financial institution know immediately by calling them. They will be able to freeze your account and prevent further charges from occurring.
Teaching children early will help their personal finance improve and enable them to have a strong idea of the value of things. Teaching ones children will also help the parent brush up on their basic personal finance skills. Teaching children to save can also help enforce the idea on parents.
Some of the best tools for everyday life are personal finance skills. Keeping track of our hard-earned money and knowing how, when and what to spend money on will make your financial life a lot easier. Follow these ideas and you will be on your way to maximizing your income and making good progress towards your financial goals.