Have you had it with living paycheck-to-paycheck? Managing your personal finances can be difficult, especially when you have an extremely busy schedule and no time to put together a budget. Staying on top of your finances is the only way to improve them and the following tips can make this a fast and easy exercise that will get you going in the right direction for improved personal finances.
You can save on energy bills by using energy efficient appliances. Switch out those old light bulbs and replace them with Energy Star compliant ones. This will save on your energy bill and give your lamps a longer lifespan. Using energy efficient toasters, refrigerators and washing machines, can also help you save a lot of money in the long haul.
Choose a broker whose ethics and experience you can trust. You should, of course, investigate reviews of a broker thoroughly enough to determine whether he or she is trustworthy. Moreover, your broker needs to be capable of understanding your goals and you should be able to communicate with him or her, as needed.
You should follow the trend. Always be informed, this way you know when is the best time to buy low and when to sell high. Make sure that you do not sell during an upswing or a downswing. You must be determined to know when you should ride out a trend.
College education can be very expensive, academic scholarships can be a huge help in financing your education. Academic scholarships are awarded for excelling in school. Those who receive academic scholarships had an acceptable GPA, excelled in their studies, and the college would like that individual to continue studying at their school.
Check and see if you are getting the best cell phone plan for your needs. If you’ve been on the same plan for the past few years, you probably could be saving some money. Most companies will do a free review of your plan and let you know if something else would work better for you, based on your usage patterns.
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.
To pay your mortgage off a little sooner, just round up the amount you pay every month. Most companies allow additional payments of any amount you choose, so there is no need to enroll in a program such as the bi-weekly payment system. Many of those programs charge for the privilege, but you can just pay the extra amount yourself along with your regular monthly payment.
Try to refrain from keeping a lot of money in your checking account. Typically, you will not need to have more than a thousand dollars to pay your bills and expenses. Instead, invest your money so that you can build on the money that you already have in your account.
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?
Get into a real savings habit. The hardest thing about savings is forming the habit of setting aside money — of paying yourself first. Rather than berate yourself each month when you use up all your funds, be sneaky and set up an automatic deduction from your main bank account into a savings account. Set it up so that you never even see the transaction happening, and before you know it, you’ll have the savings you need safely stashed away.
As you can see, it’s really not that hard. Just follow these tips by working them into your weekly or monthly routine and you will start to see a little bit of money left over, then a little bit more, and soon, you will experience just how nice it feels to have control over your personal finances.