As you go through life, getting your finances together is crucial. Even if you aren’t having a problem, it’s important to start getting things in order in case an unexpected event occurs. Here are some great ways to start getting your personal finances together so that you are prepared for anything.
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.
Keep an eye on your personal finance by watching your credit reports closely. Not only will this empower you with valuable information, but also it can also help you to ensure that no one else has compromised your personal information and is committing fraud in your name. Usually checking it once or twice a year is sufficient.
Make sure that you are collecting all of the tax credits to which you are entitled. Look out for the following tax credits: Child Care Credit, Child Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Earned Income Credit and Hope Scholarship Credit. Visit the IRS’s website for a complete list of tax credits that you may be eligible for.
Thrift shopping and consignment shopping have become more popular in the current economy. Try buying your clothes, home decor, and kitchen items second hand. You can save a lot of money on the things you have to buy anyway that you can then put towards your savings or retirement accounts.
A large dead tree that you want to cut down, can be turned into an extra hundred or more dollars, depending on the size of the tree that you are cutting down. Turning the tree into fire wood, that could then be sold for an individual price or a bundle price, would produce income for your personal finances.
Try not to pay too much attention to what the financial news is saying. You can use it to inform your choices, but keep in mind that reporters are speculating the same way you are. Learn to trust your own instincts as much as you trust those of the newspeople.
At the end of every day, empty out all of the change in your pockets, purse, and briefcase into a jar for saving. Once per month, you can deposit the money into your savings account, where it will earn interest. Avoid losing out on surcharges and fees from coin-counting machines.
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.
Don’t invest in a long-term bond mutual funds. If you need the steady income from bonds, it’s better to buy the actual bond or find a substitute like bank CD’s. Mutual funds can be an excellent way to invest in stocks, but because all mutual funds are priced daily, funds that invest mostly in longer-term bonds can lose money quickly if interest rates rise.
Have you thought about a credit card that offers rewards? If you always pay your card balance in full, you are an ideal candidate. Just for doing you regular daily shopping, a credit card with rewards will offer points redeemable for airplane flights, cash or other premiums. Make a short list of cards with rewards you like and compare them in terms of reward points per dollar spent.
A good personal finance tip is to keep an eye on your credit score and make sure it’s always in good standing. Using a credit card when you don’t have enough money in your account can damage your credit score. Having a good credit score can make a huge difference.
Use these tips to help you organize your personal finances in case of an emergency. Taking care of your finances will help you relax and feel less stressful because you know that you are prepared for any possibility. Getting your finances in shape now is the smart thing to do.