In these hard financial times, even for those of us lucky enough to be gainfully employed keeping your finances straight can be such a challenge. With the cost of everything from milk and eggs to gas rising, saving is near impossible. This article will offer some advice on personal finance.
When you are saving for an emergency fund, aim for at least three to six months worth of living expenses. This is not a large amount, considering the difficulty in finding employment if you ever lose your job. In fact, the larger the emergency fund, the better position you would be in to ride out any unforeseen financial catastrophes.
College education can be very expensive, academic scholarships can be a huge help in financing your education. Academic scholarships are awarded for excelling in school. Those who receive academic scholarships had an acceptable GPA, excelled in their studies, and the college would like that individual to continue studying at their school.
Keep in mind that a college graduate will earn more throughout their lifetime on average than a high school graduate. Invest in your education so that you can invest in your future earnings potentials. If you are already in the workforce consider attending an online school to obtain your degree.
Change your cell phone plan. When you sign up to an expensive monthly cell phone plan you can end up paying for talk minutes that don’t use. So, the next time your cell phone contract is due for renewal consider switching to a cheaper plan and you could save $20 a month or more.
Look for a bank that offers free checking accounts if you do not already have one. Go to your local banks or look into credit unions or online banks.
Set up any bills that you can to be directly withdrawn from your checking account. This will assure that they are always paid on time as long as you have the available funds in your checking account that is needed to make these payments. It is easy to set up and will save a ton of time and money in late fees.
Study your losses and learn from them. Many people like to ignore their losses and move on, but investigating them helps you to avoid making the same mistakes again. And after all, these mistakes cost you money; consider them a mini-course in what not to do and then you move on.
Keep track of the money you are spending every month and make a budget. This way you can see where you need to cut back on your spending, which will make it easier to save. Make a budget and track every single expense you have, then look at it at the end of the month, so you can know where you stand.
If you have kids and want them to attend college, you should start saving right after their birth. College costs are increasing every year, and if you wait until they are a teenager to start saving, you may not be able to pay for their college education.
Taking the time to actually assess your goals is a great way to stay in full control of your financial situation. Sit down with a pen and a pad and write down your goals in life, as if you’re creating a business. You’ll find that spending a lot of money doesn’t fall in with your plans, but saving money surely does.
To have a different financial pattern then before, have a new mindset then before. Instead of looking at just income and expenses and balancing the two, set a goal you want to manage between the two. Instead of just knowing you should save more money, identify something specific you want to save money towards. Your new mindset will result in new behaviors immediately.
Consider driving a used car instead of borrowing money to buy a new car. If you buy a new car, you will be paying a lot of interest. It is not worth the interest for the amount of money you will be losing on the value of the vehicle as soon as it leaves the lot!
Invest in precious metal. Gold is a great investment, but the initial investment cost may be considerable. Gold does not ever lose value, even if the price of gold drops somewhat. Silver is also a good investment and actually has a better growth rate than gold. Silver also has a lower initial investment cost.
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.
In order to save money, do not have any appliances or lights on if you are not using them. You will find your electric bill to be very high when you leave these things. Also, unless it is really necessary, open the windows and turn on the fans instead of using air conditioning.
One of the best ways to save money is for a person to give up their bad habits. The prices of cigarettes and alcohol are ridiculous these days. Not only is it bad for your health, but it is bad for your pocket as well. Speak with your doctor if you need help quitting.
Accurate and well-organized records are an important part of a healthy financial plan. Keep your financial papers in folders and organize the folders in a filing cabinet or storage containers. Add important receipts and documents to your folders, as soon as you receive them, so that they are handy when you need them.
Even though times are tough it is still feasible to get a handle on your finances. Whether it be by investing, scrimping and saving, or by sheer manpower, it is possible. This article offered some advice on how to handle your personal finances so that these tough financial times won’t be as tough.