Finding time to pay your bills is hard enough these days. Finding time to go over your spending and saving habits, in order to find ways to save is even harder. It is a task that needs to be done though, and the rewards can be huge, if you find ways to drastically change your bottom line.
Consider using a re-loadable check card. If the thought of your credit or debit cards getting lost or stolen on your trip makes you too nervous, you can always use re-loadable check cards. You can find them at most retail stores. It is arguably safer and easier than carrying around cash.
Check your financial assets for a down payment source. You may be able to cash out certain investment accounts and use the money without penalty, if it is for a primary residence. You may also be able to borrow against certain assets, giving you the money you need. Check with your investment professional for options.
When you go to the bank or a mortgage broker and you get pre-approved for a loan you should subtract 20 percent off of the amount that they are offering to lend you and only take that amount. This will keep you safe from any unexpected financial situations that may come up.
The biggest purchase in the budget for your household is the purchase of a home or a new car. The principal and interest amounts for your home and car will comprise the largest lines in your budget. Add more money to the payment every month or make an extra payment once a year to pay it down faster.
To teach your child personal finance, take them with you to the grocery store. Many children take the food they eat every day for granted. If they see how much simple items cost at the store, they are more likely to appreciate not only the food on their table, but also how much you have to work for money.
Protection from identity theft is something that you should insure yourself against, especially if you do a lot of work on your computer. Make sure that all of your information is password protected and that you have a solid anti-virus protection program. This will reduce hacking and protect your financial information.
If you are an investor, make sure that you diversify your investments. The worst thing that you can do is have all of your money tied up in one stock when it plummets. Diversifying your investments will put you in the most secure position possible so you can maximize your profit.
Use cash for purchases. Eliminate credit cards and debit cards and use cash for purchases. Use the envelope system to allocate a budget for monthly expenses. Have a separate envelope for each different type of expense, and place a specific amount of cash in each one. This way, you won’t over-spend on any monthly expenses. A good idea is to have another envelope marked ’emergency’, containing cash that can only be used if really necessary. Seal this envelope, as this will make you less tempted to ‘borrow’ from it.
If you plan on sending your children to college, start putting money away from the day they are born. As college costs keep rising, it’s not going to be possible to pay for their education if you wait until they are teens to start saving up.
Spending less than you earn is the most simple way to ensure financial success. This may not always be easy, but can be done if you know how to live modestly and have a good idea of how to manage your expenses. This may mean having less luxuries like vacations.
Track your monthly spending to see where your money goes. If tracking and budgeting is not something you do now, follow your spending for two months. Use this information to build a realistic budget and identify the areas where you can cut back reasonably. Use the extra money to increase your savings and to pay off credit cards, as their interest rate will only go up.
Using the ideas here, you can make a big difference in the amount of stress that you carry around each month. Money matters are a huge burden to most people, so taking charge and finding ways to reduce your expenses and having more money set aside for unexpected surprises, will have you sleeping better at night.