The state of the economy is forcing many families to take a long, hard, look at their wallets. Focusing on spending and saving may feel frustrating, but taking good care of your personal finances will only benefit you in the long run. Here are some great personal finance tips to help get you started.
To get the most out of your money and your food -stop buying processed foods. Processed foods are simple and convenient, but can be very expensive and nutritionally poor. Try looking at the ingredients list on one of your favorite frozen meals. Then the shop for the ingredients at the store and cook it yourself! You'll have a lot more food than you would have if you had purchased the dinner. Furthermore, you may have spent less money!
Scheduling a long car journey for the right time of year can save the traveler a lot of time and money. In general, the height of summer is the busiest time on the roads. If the distance driver can make his or her trip during other seasons, he or she will encounter less traffic and lower gas prices.
A good tip when it comes to personal finances, is to not buy impulsively. A good majority of all retail spending is on impulsive purchases. Rather, if you see something you want, analyze it on a scale of want to need and then give yourself a 24 hour cool down period before buying it. This should stop a lot of impulse buys.
Before purchasing a car, build up a strong down payment amount. Save money everywhere you can for a while in order to be able to put a significant amount of money down when you purchase. Having a large down payment will help with your monthly payments and it may make it easier to get better interest rates even with bad credit.
Eliminate unnecessary credit cards. You do not need to have a multitude of credit cards open on your credit report. This costs you a lot of money in interest fees and drags down your credit score if you have them all above 20% of the available maximum balance. Write the creditors a letter and pay off the balance.
Keep your checkbook balanced. It's really not so hard and can save you the expense and embarrassment of bounced checks and overdrawn fees. Do not just call the bank for a balance and count on having that amount in your account. Some debits and checks may not have cleared yet, resulting in overdrafts when they hit the bank.
If you are thinking about opening an account at a bank, look for the locations that offer free checking accounts. These accounts are beneficial, and can provide you with an additional 50-75 dollars to start up with when you open the account. These deals can give you a kick start to maximizing the balance in your account.
If your credit card is close to its limit, use a different one rather than letting it max out. The interest of two different payments should be much lower than paying off a maxed out credit card. Also, you will not suffer harm to your credit rating and you may even see an improvement if the two accounts are managed well.
Setting the water level in your toilet is a great way to decrease the amount of water that is used for each flush. There are simple blocks that hang inside your tank that will decrease the amount of water that is needed to fill your tank and shut the water flow off.
Have you heard of the latte factor? What are you spending each month that you could cut out and instead save in an account for later. Tabulate the amount and figure in savings with interest from investments over a few years period. You will be surprised at how much you could save.
If you find that all of your bills are due at roughly the same time of the month, contact your various providers and see what options are available for you to change your monthly due dates. This avoids spreading your paychecks too thin, during each pay period and allows you to manage your cash flow more efficiently.
Pay off high-rate credit cards from low-yield savings. Many credit cards charge 18% or more in annual interest, while some store cards charge as much as 24%. It makes sense to pay off those high-rate balances with any extra cash that you have sitting in low-yielding savings accounts. For instance, paying off a $1000, 18% credit-card balance from a 1%-yielding savings account would save you $170.
What about a credit card with rewards? You are a great candidate for such a card if you fully pay your balance regularly. These credit cards will give you incentives like cash, airline miles, and other assorted perks for your daily purchases. Figure out what rewards you want the most and then compare these offers to how much they reward you percentage-wise.
Ask credit card companies to lower your rates. If you've been paying your bills on time, they should have no problem with this request. Ask politely and calmly, and don't threaten them or harass the person you are speaking with. If necessary, talk to a manager. This way, you will save money on your credit card bills.
As was discussed at the beginning of the article, improving your personal financial situation is important. It can give you peace of mind now, and a more secure future. The process of improving your personal finances is much easier when you have the right knowledge and information. Start making shrewd choices today, and you will be on your way to a better personal financial situation.