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.
One job is a Forex money manager. These people charge a fixed percentage of the profit. A Forex money manager will be able to keep his eye on the market for you, and make all the financial decisions. Hiring a manager would be a good idea if you are really not sure how the trading world works, and don't feel like learning it.
If you can afford it, try making an extra payment on your mortgage every month. The extra payment will apply directly to the principal of your loan. Every extra payment you make will shorten the life of your loan a little. That means you can pay off your loan faster, saving potentially thousands of dollars in interest payments.
Even in a world of online bank accounts, you should still be balancing your checkbook. It is so easy for things to get lost, or to not really know how much you have spent in any one month. Use your online checking information as a tool to sit down once a month and add up all your debits and credits the old fashioned way. You can catch errors and mistakes that are in your favor, as well as protect yourself from fraudulent charges and identity theft.
Trade in your gas guzzler for an economical, high miles per gallon car. If you drive a truck or SUV that gets bad gas mileage, you may be able to cover the monthly payments for a new car with your gas savings. Calculate what you spend on gas now with what you would spend in a car that gets 30mpg or higher. The savings might shock you.
Staying as responsible as possible, is a key trait in maintaining a solid bank account. When you have a checking account, make sure that you never take more than you have. This can lead to overdraft fees, which can add up over time and have an impact on your overall balance.
Set up your debit card to pay down your credit card automatically during the last days of the month. This will make it a little harder to forget.
Check your credit at least yearly. The government provides free credit reports for its citizens every year. You can also get a free credit report if you are declined credit. Keeping track of your credit will allow you to see if there are incorrect debts or if someone has stolen your identity.
When in doubt about borrowing money-don't. Interest is extremely expensive, adding up to 20% or even more to your purchases, which is the same as making 20% less money! Wherever possible try to save up for a purchase on your own, and buy it later rather than taking out a loan to get it now.
Giving children an allowance is a great way to introduce them to personal finance and teach them how to manage money. When they are given age-appropriate chores and paid for a job well done, not only are they motivated to continue doing good work, they are learning about responsibility and the value of a dollar.
Set up your savings account in a different bank than your checking account, and don't give yourself online or ATM access. Do all of your savings account business in person, by mail or via the night drop at your bank. In this way, you will discipline yourself to leave your savings account undisturbed and eliminate the temptation to access it except in extreme emergency.
Start saving for your child's college fund early. As college costs keep rising, it's not going to be possible to pay for their education if you wait until they are teens to start saving up.
Develop diverse streams of income. Don't get stuck depending on a single source. This will help you be prepared for any changes that occur which might have adverse effects your income. Don't judge opportunities to earn money by the amount, but rather the ratio of reward in proportion to investment of time and energy.
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.
You may want to take it easy on investing as long as you're having any sort of financial problems. Something that stands out as a sure thing is never sure enough when you're dealing with limited money. Yes, it's true that you have to spend money to make money, but stay away from it if you can't afford to lose.
If you are considering getting any type of credit card, make sure that you consider a rewards card. Since we're talking about your personal finances here, there might as well be something in it for you personally since you're going to go the credit route. Rewards can include airline miles, cash back, or other rewards.
See what you can swap. Instead of buying new clothes, can you swap some with a friend? Can you swap babysitting time for help with your taxes? Find ways to get what you need without paying for it by leveraging your time and other things you may have. You'll save money and feel smarter at the same time.
While no one wants to cut back on their spending, this is a great opportunity to develop healthy spending habits. Even when your financial situation improves, these tips will help you take care of your money and keep your finances stable. It's tough to change the way you deal with money, but it's worth the extra effort.