Personal financial success can be influenced by our ability to pay attention to how we handle money. The following article recommends little habits we can all do routinely to start thinking about where our money is coming from and where it’s going. The best part about these suggestions is that they don’t require daily attention. Some of these steps can be implemented in a few minutes a month.
If you are in doubt with what you should do, or do not have all of the information necessary to make a logical decision, stay out of the market. Refraining from entering into a trade that would have plummeted is much better than taking a high risk. Money saved is money earned.
Do not take on more debt than you can actually handle. Just because you qualify for the loan for the top of the line model of the car you want doesn’t mean you should take it. Try to keep your debts low and reasonable. An ability to get a loan doesn’t mean you’ll have the ability to pay it.
To improve your personal finance habits, be sure to keep a buffer or surplus amount of money for emergencies. If your personal budget is completely taken up with no room for error, an unexpected car problem or broken window can be devastating. Be sure to allocate some money each month for unpredicted expenses.
Do not take out more student loans than you need this will cause a huge problem down the line. You may want to go to an expensive college; however, if you have no clear career goals or majors to focus on, you could just be building debt.
Take advantage of your flexible spending account. Flexible spending accounts can provide savings on qualified expenses such as medical costs, and child daycare bills. This type of account makes it easy to set aside pretax income for different expenses. However, there are certain restrictions, so you should consider speaking with an accountant or tax specialist.
If you have multiple credit cards, get rid of all but one. The more cards you have, the harder it is to stay on top of paying them back. Also, the more credit cards you have, the easier it is to spend more than you’re earning, getting yourself stuck in a hole of debt.
Burn used cooking oil in your older diesel vehicle! There are entire web pages and forums devoted to doing just that. The first diesel engine, after all, was designed to run on peanut oil. Just make sure you research your options and take the precautions you need to insure you don’t damage your engine.
It is never too early to teach children about personal finance and savings. If they earn an allowance, have them set aside a percentage into a piggy bank or a savings account (if they’re old enough to have one). They can also do the same with money they receive for birthdays or holidays.
If you are saving for your retirement it is recommended that you save 10-15% of your annual income when your are just starting out. Obviously, if you are older you will need to save more. You also need to save more if you will not retire with an mortgage free home. The sooner you get started the more you will have when you need it most.
“Reward” credit cards might not be a good deal. Unless you pay off your balance in full each month, the higher interest rates and fees on “reward” cards might offset the value of the rewards you earn. If you usually carry a balance, you’ll save money by using a low-interest card instead.
Take a look at your portfolio on an annual basis, and adjust as necessary. You can get your investments inline with your goals. It will also let you practice the skill of buying low and selling high.
A great personal finance tip is to create a budget and stick to it. It’s important that you create a budget for yourself so that you know exactly how much you can spend on things. Having a budget will prevent you from spending any money you don’t have.
Check your credit report regularly without paying for it. By law you can request a free credit report once a year. Make sure your report includes information from all the three major reporting agencies. Review them to ensure all the information is correct and challenge any inaccurate information you find.
Do things yourself. Do you usually get your nails done? Paint them yourself. Do you have a lawn maintenance person? Mow the lawn yourself. Learning to do things yourself allows you to learn a new skill, but it also allows you to save money instead of paying someone else to do it.
Try to make early bill payments monthly to stay on top of your finances. If you pay bills early, you will then know how much cash you will be left with. It also helps when an unexpected expense suddenly crops up, and now you won’t have to worry whether or not you can pay your bills.
Always make every attempt to plan for the future. Keep at least three months worth of income in a readily accessible savings account, in case of emergency. Many times, unexpected accidents happen, which could interrupt your regular source of income. Adequate savings allows you to pay expenses, while searching for a new source of income.
Do not trust any salespeople or customer service reps when it comes to buying something from them. They are there to make a sale and the more you spend, the more they benefit. You should do some comparison shopping online before you head to the store so that you know what the best deals are.
This article explains little things that can be done to incorporate a routine consideration of financial health. A little bit of time and attention will help improve our financial health and keep attention on the little things that we can do in managing our personal finances. Some steps take only a few minutes at a time to keep us on top of our finances.