It takes a little time and effort to learn good personal finance habits. When considered next to the time and money that can be wasted through poor financial management, though, putting some work into personal finance education is a real bargain. This article gives some ideas that can help anyone manage their money better.
Improve your personal finance skills with a very useful but often overlooked tip. Make sure that you are taking about 10-13% of your paychecks and putting them aside into a savings account. This will help you out greatly during the tough economic times. Then, when an unexpected bill comes, you will have the funds to cover it and not have to borrow and pay interest fees.
Rewards credit cards are a great way to get a little extra something for the stuff you buy anyways. If you use the card to pay for recurring expenses like gas and groceries, then you can rack up points for travel, dining or entertainment. Just make sure to pay this card off at the end of each month.
If holding a garage sale or selling your things on craigslist isn’t appealing to you, consider consignment. You can consign just about anything these days. Furniture, clothes, jewelry, you name it. Contact a few stores in your area to compare their fees and services. The consignment store will take your items and sell them for you, cutting you a check for a percentage of the sale.
If you are in a long-term relationship, don’t ever lie to your significant other about the status of your finances or your spending habits. Debt you have accrued will always come out eventually, and hidden debt may wreck plans your significant other had for going on vacation, financing a car, or buying a house.
If you are accustomed to paying your bills by mail, it is optimal to switch to online bill pay. Every bill that you send out by mail will cost you 40-50 cents with postage. Pay online so you do not have to worry about this fee in your daily and weekly expenses.
To conserve water and save money on your monthly bill, check out the new breed of eco-friendly toilets. Dual-flush toilets require the user to push two separate buttons in order to flush, but work just as effectively as a regular toilet. Within weeks, you should notice decreases in your household water usage.
Be up front with others when necessary about your budget. Doing so will help you feel less badly if you must decline invitations to go out. If you do not tell them, they may think that they have done something wrong to cause you to avoid doing social activities with them. Keep your friends and be sure to let them know about the things that are happening in your life.
Be willing to substitute goods. For example, the canned tuna that is the store brand at my local grocery store has just about the same amount of meat, drained weight, as the Chicken of the Sea brand name cans of tuna. But it only costs half the price. That makes tuna surprise a lot cheaper.
If you want to get your personal finances under control, try freezing your credit cards. Credit cards are good for emergencies, but are often used to buy things we can’t afford. Avoid this spur of the moment spending by literally freezing your card. Put it in a container of water and freeze it. You can still use your card in an emergency, but having to thaw out the credit card will give you time to rethink those impulse buys that lead to more debt.
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.
It has to be said that taking care of personal finances rarely becomes fun. It can, however, get extremely satisfying. When better personal finance skills pay off directly in terms of money saved, the time invested in learning the subject feels well-spent. Personal finance education can even become an unending cycle. Learning a little helps you save a little; what will happen when you learn more?