Getting your personal finances in order and keeping them that way is an important skill – perhaps a more important one now than ever. Between the high-powered financial options anyone can take advantage of and the time-saving shortcuts anyone can abuse, it is all too easy to lose control of your money. Here are some basic tips about hanging on to your personal financial reins.
Minimize your credit card accounts to just one account. Having more than one card can lead to difficulties in managing your monthly payments. Typically most people spend on cards that are available and with multiples you run the risk of outstripping your ability to cover all the payments necessary to maintain your due dates.
If you must get a credit card to manage your finances, try for a no-fee rewards card. While credit cards can easily cause more damage than do good, a rewards card will at least give you something back for the money you spend on it. Don’t be tempted to overspend to earn those rewards, though.
An important tip to consider when working to repair your credit is to make sure that you do not get rid of your oldest credit cards. This is important because the length of time that you have had a credit is extremely important. If you plan on closing cards, close only the newest ones.
Are you planning on eventually retiring to your vacation home? Make sure that you have a budget set up for the home with all the inherent costs such as electricity, heating and cooling. You may also want to investigate the quality and availability of hospitals and doctors in the area. By doing this, you will find out if it is feasible to retire to your vacation property or sell it for profit.
If you want your property to stay under control, pay attention to your cash flow. Know what you make and what you spend and look into how well your property is performing. Be certain to have a firm budget for your property in order to use it as a guide.
Teach children early about saving money. When giving them an allowance, encourage them to set aside a portion of it. Help them to determine not only long-term goals for their savings, such as college, but also some short-term goals, such as a new bicycle, or even ice cream. As they reap the benefits of saving for their short-term goals, they will begin to understand the importance of it, and it will motivate them toward their long-term goals.
Make sure you are carrying cash or your debit card for small purchases. You do not want to have to put small purchases on your credit card and end up paying interest on them. Some merchants also put restrictions on purchases made with a credit card not allowing you to put under 10 dollars on it.
Work from home whenever you can to save money. Commuting to a job can end up costing you a lot of money. The cost of parking, lunches and gas will often cut your paycheck in half before you get it!
Never allow the bills to pile up if you have the financial means with which to pay them. Believing that a bill isn’t important because you’d rather take a vacation or rather spend money on a TV is a surefire way to fall behind. Once you begin to fall behind, it’s hard to catch back up.
If you’re trying to get out of debt and build your financial future, taking on a second job might be the way to go. Delivering pizza or working at the local grocery store certainly isn’t glamorous, but the extra money each week might really help you out. Making just a couple hundred dollars each month might mean you get out of debt a year sooner, or have a few thousand dollars saved for your next car. It can be well worth the effort.
Gaining control of your finances is not just economically prudent. It can be a source of great personal satisfaction and even pride. Using methods like those outlined above, you can keep a tight leash on your personal finances and bring your money to heel. Personal finance is all about making your money behave the way you want it to.