Economic times are hard, and you’re not alone if you’re feeling the effects of the economy on your personal pocketbook. While financial problems can be devastating and worrying, they are not permanent. Below are tips to help guide you on personal financing so you can get out of debt and/or start planning for the future.
If you feel like the marketplace is unstable, the best thing to do is to say out of it. Taking a risk with the money you worked so hard for in this economy is unnecessary. Wait until you feel like the market is more stable and you won’t be risking everything you have.
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.
Set up your bank account to transfer a predetermined sum of money from your checking to your savings once a month. You will forget you even have this money or see it as a bill, just like any other expense. Your savings can add up quickly by doing this.
When thinking about how to make the most out of your personal finances, consider carefully the pros and cons of taking out stocks. This is because, while it’s well known that, in the long run, stocks have historically beaten all other investments, they are risky in the short term as they fluctuate a lot. If you’re likely to be in a situation where you need to get access to money fast, stocks may not be your best option.
For those individuals that have credit card debt, the best return on your money would be to minimize or pay off those credit card balances. Generally, credit card debt is the most expensive debt for any household, with some interest rates that exceed 20%. Start with the credit card that charges the most in interest, pay it off first, and set a goal to pay off all credit card debt.
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.
Stay away from payday loans if at all possible. They charge ridiculous amounts of interest and can trap you into a revolving door of renewing them each time you can’t afford to pay it off. Look at all other options, including asking friends and family for help, before going for a payday loan.
Even though bottled water may seem like an insignificant expense when you purchase it individually, it will add up over time. Instead of purchasing bottled water every single day, invest in a water filter. This will allow you to create water that has the same taste as bottled, at little to no cost.
Sign up as many of your bills for automatic payment as possible. This saves you a considerable amount of time. While you should still review your monthly activity, this will go much faster by checking your bank account online than by reviewing a checkbook ledger or your bills themselves. The extra time you get from automatic bill payment can be invested profitably in many other areas.
After you finish a meal with your family, do not throw away the leftovers. Instead, wrap these up and use this food as part of a meal the next day or as a snack during the night. Conserving every piece of food is very important in reducing your grocery costs each month.
Save your money in an account that has high yields. Make sure it is FDIC insured, that there is no risk involved, and that you can access your money when you need it. Accounts like these may seem hard to find, but a little research will reward you and help your investment grow.
By being conscious of your utilities usage such as electricity, gas or even water, you can reduce the amount on your bills. This savings can add to valuable extra money to your personal finances. Saving money from utilities fees can often help more than you thinks.
Don’t let the economy get you down! Fight back by having a plan for your personal finances, debts, and future endeavors. The tips above will help you on your personal journey to a good financial situation. Once you are set up with a financial plan for the present, start planning for the future to avoid the stress of last minutes scrambling to pay debts.