Learning to intelligently manage your personal finances can mean the difference between being financial healthy and secure, and ending up bankrupt or severely in debt. It is not easy to learn to manage your finances in the right manner, but it is something that you can, and must, do. Continue reading this article to learn more.
If you are searching for a mortgage or auto loan, do your shopping relatively quickly. Unlike with other types of credit (e.g. credit cards), a number of inquiries within a short period of time for the purpose of securing a mortgage or auto loan won’t hurt your score very much.
Americans are notorious for spending more than they earn, but if you want to be in charge of your finances, spend less than what you earn. Budget your income, as to assure that you don’t overspend. Spending less than what you earn, will help you to be at peace with your finances.
Write down numbers for contacting service providers such as your credit cards and bank in the event of loss or theft. With these toll-free numbers at hand, reporting and canceling will be much easier. They will also help if you need to find locations to get cash quickly. Store these numbers in your phone as well, but keep a written copy in case of phone issues.
Having a savings plan is important, so always plan for a rainy day. You should strive to have enough money in the bank to cover your essential bills for six months. Should you lose your job, or run into an emergency situation, the extra money will get you through.
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.
When it comes to maintaining your financial health, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is establish an emergency fund. Having an emergency fund will help you avoid sliding into debt in the event you or your spouse loses your job, needs medical care or has to face an unexpected crisis. Setting up an emergency fund is not hard to do, but requires some discipline. Figure out what your monthly expenses are and set a goal to save 6-8 months of funds in an account you can easily access if needed. Plan to save a full 12 months of funds if you are self-employed.
Loaning money to friends and family is something that you should not consider. When you loan money to someone that you are close to emotionally, you will be in a tough position when it is time to collect, especially if they do not have the money, due to financial issues.
If you have managed your finances well enough to own a home and have a retirement account, don’t jeopardize those by borrowing against them later. If you borrow against your home and can’t repay it, you could lose your home; the same is true for your retirement fund. Borrow against them only in dire situations.
Not using a credit card at all is one way to stay out of debt and to protect your personal finances. Before you opt to pay for a purchase with your credit card, carefully think through your decision. Try to figure out how much time it is going to take to pay it off. If you cannot pay a charge off within a month, it is probably something you should avoid.
If you’re trying to save money, start with your grocery list. Instead of buying all name brand foods, start buying store brand instead. Most of the time the food is identical and you’ll save yourself a lot of money. Why should you waste money that could be put to better use on a name brand?
As was discussed earlier, intelligently managing your personal finances can save you from debt and financial ruin. In today’s difficult times, now, more than ever, it is crucial that you learn to handle your personal finances in the right manner. By applying what you’ve learned from this article, you can improve your financial situation and, as a result, improve your life.