A collection of tips on how to begin improving your personal finances makes the perfect starting point for a beginner to hopefully begin improving their own financial situation. Below is that very collection that can hopefully assist the eager novice into eventually becoming smarter when it comes to personal finances.
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.
To maintain a good credit score, use more than one credit card. Remember, however, not to go overboard; do not have more than four credit cards. If you only have one card, your credit score will rise, but slowly. If you have more than four, it is an indication that you have difficulty dealing with your finances. Begin by having two cards, and add more cards as your credit improves.
Get a high yield savings account. Your rainy day funds or emergency savings should be stored in a savings account with the highest interest rate you can find. Do not use CD’s or other term savings which would penalize you for taking your money out early. These accounts need to be liquid in case you need to use them for emergencies.
One of the things that you need to take into consideration with the rising rates of gasoline is miles per gallon. When you are shopping for a car, look into the car’s MPG, which can make a huge difference over the life of your purchase in how much you spend on gas.
Eliminate the credit cards that you have for the different stores that you shop at. They carry little positive weight on your credit report, and will likely bring it down, whether you make your payments on time or not. Pay off the store cards as soon as your budget will allow you to.
Do your best to control your emotions. Do not let greed or stress dictate your actions. Always take your time before you make a decision, and if you are not sure, perhaps you should not do it. If you notice that you are getting particularly stressed, you should take a break.
If offered by your company, consider signing up for a cafeteria plan for your health care costs. These plans allow you to set aside a regular amount of money into an account specifically to use for your medical expenses. The benefit is that this money comes out of your account pretax which will lower your adjusted gross income saving you some money come tax time. You can use these benefits for copays, prescriptions, deductibles and even some over the counter medications.
Realize that budget is not a four-letter word. It’s tough to plan for future expenses if you do not plan ahead, and that’s all a budget is — a little advance planning. Everyone needs a budget, regardless of their income level. Companies pulling in millions per year make budgets. Plan where you want your money to go, and then stick to your budget. You’ll thank yourself later.
To help yourself get in the habit of saving, ask your bank to put a portion of direct deposits into your savings account. Having this done automatically will allow you to save without giving it much thought. As you get more used to saving, you can raise the amount placed in your savings account.
For large purchases, such as home renovations, one way to get a better loan is to borrow against the value of your home, also called a home equity loan or a second mortgage. Because of the security provided by your home’s equity, these loans often have better rates than a normal loan.
It is very important to set goals and stick with them. Don’t just budget! Automatically make your savings your top priority. Once you save and are committed to doing so, you can make sure that you save even when the money is hard to come by. What a principle to consider!
Well, hopefully the aforementioned collection of tips were enough to give you a great start on what to do and expect when it comes to improving your personal finances. This collection was carefully constructed to be a helpful resource so that you can begin to hone your budgeting skills into improving your personal finances.