While it is sometimes difficult to consider something as seemingly inconsequential as a week’s groceries as an investment, that is exactly what they are. By wisely choosing what we spend our money on, whether that choice is between a groceries or a night out on the town or perhaps between a home or a luxury vehicle, we are deciding our financial future.
When thinking about how to make the most out of your personal finances, consider carefully the pros and cons of taking out stocks. This is because, while it’s well known that, in the long run, stocks have historically beaten all other investments, they are risky in the short term as they fluctuate a lot. If you’re likely to be in a situation where you need to get access to money fast, stocks may not be your best option.
A great tip for anyone interested in finding extra money each month to put toward existing debts is to make a habit each day of emptying your pockets or purse of change received during cash transactions. It may seem like a small thing, but you will be amazed by how much money actually accumulates over time, and you may find yourself paying down that stubborn credit card balance faster than you ever thought possible.
When you make note of expenses in your check ledger, always round up your numbers to the next dollar. When you make a deposit, round down. In this way, you will build a little padding into your checking account to help you avoid overdrafts. When your “slush fund” has built up enough to help you eliminate monthly fees, continue deducting them anyway. They will be set aside in your checking account and will add to your savings.
Start saving money for your children’s college education as soon as they are born. College is a very large expense, but by saving a small amount of money every month for 18 years you can spread the cost. Even if you children do not go to college the money saved can still be used towards their future.
Try using free checking accounts. Certain institutions, like online banks or credit unions, provide free accounts.
One of the things that you will have to avoid is giving into temptation and buying things that you do not need. Instead of purchasing that fancy pair of shoes, invest that money in a high yield savings account. These decisions can go a long way in building your net worth.
Credit cards are convenient and more secure than a debit card. If you get approved for a credit card, stick to using it on essential items, such as groceries and gas for your car. By purchasing items with your card, you will usually gain rewards, such as cash or maybe even frequent flier points.
The best way to manage your personal finances in the short-term is to maintain a monthly budget. Yes, budgeting can be annoying and difficult, but nothing else will let you see where your money goes. Tracking your spending and keeping a budget will help you build a savings account and limit unnecessary spending.
A young consumer with a modest personal financial situation, should resist the temptation to open accounts with many credit card companies. Two cards should be adequate for the consumer’s needs. One of these can be used regularly and ideally paid down regularly, to build up a positive credit history. A second card should serve strictly as an emergency resource.
One of the best ways to improve your finances is to purchase the generic brand of products. The next time you are in the supermarket, purchase the store brand cereal, which can taste just as good as the higher priced, marketed brand. This can save you a lot of money when projected out over the year.
When you are taking out money, one thing that you must try to avoid is withdrawing from a different bank than your own. Each withdrawal will cost you between 2 to 4 dollars and can add up over time. Stick to the bank of your choice if you want to minimize your miscellaneous expenses.
Sign up for a rewards credit card if you qualify. You may be able to turn your expenses into things that you need. However, you must be able to pay your card balance in full to take advantage of the benefits. Otherwise, the rewards card will just become another debt burden.
If your employer offers a match to your 401K, make sure you’re contributing at least the amount they match. When an employer offers to match your funds, they are essentially giving you free money. The money you contribute will help you reach retirement goals and is tax free. It’s a win-win situation, all around.
Set goals on how you will manage your money. This can help you quell the desire of buying something on impulse. Your financial goals should reflect your priorities. When you have clear goals, you are less likely to spend on things that that do not bring you closer to that goal.
The easiest and most obvious way to give yourself more financial breathing room is to ask for a raise. If you have been with your company for over a year without a raise and research shows that their competitors are paying as much or more to their employees in comparable positions, then use this information to negotiate your way to better pay.
If you find yourself in need of a personal loan, but are faced with banks that are generally unwilling to make them, you should gather documents that prove that you are a low-risk credit consumer. This can include favorable payment records on car loans or credit card companies, as well as paycheck stubs from a stable employer.
Even the purchases we make on a day to day basis can ultimately spell the difference between financial success and financial failure. The tips provided above help us make the types of decisions that will make the difference. Investments, after all, come in all shapes and sizes. So too do money bottomless pits which always ending up costing us more than they pay back.