One of the hardest things for young adults to deal with when they strike out on their own for the first time, is the handling of their personal finances. It would help if managing finance was taught to children as early as grammar school, but it isn’t. If you’re confused about how to handle your personal finances, there are a number of tips in this article that can help.
Repairing your credit can lead to paying less money in interest. A lower credit score means higher interest rate on your credit cards and other loans, which means you end up paying more in finance charges and interest. Repair your score and drop these rates in order to save more money.
One of the best ways to stay on track with regards to personal finance is to develop a strict but reasonable budget. This will allow you to keep track of your spending and even to develop a plan for savings. When you begin saving you could then move onto investing. By being strict but reasonable you set yourself up for success.
When buying a car, choose a used car. The first 10,000 miles on a car are the most expensive. Let someone else drive the car off the lot and then you can take advantage of the price drop when you go to buy the car. The car’s value will not have gone down much, but the price will when buying used.
Finance experts say it all the time. Pay yourself first. You should have at least 3 months worth of living expenses in an emergency savings account. From each paycheck you should have a specified amount of money that goes directly to this account before you ever even see it.
Rewards credit cards are a great way to get a little extra something for the stuff you buy anyways. If you use the card to pay for recurring expenses like gas and groceries, then you can rack up points for travel, dining or entertainment. Just make sure to pay this card off at the end of each month.
Change your cell phone plan. When you sign up to an expensive monthly cell phone plan you can end up paying for talk minutes that don’t use. So, the next time your cell phone contract is due for renewal consider switching to a cheaper plan and you could save $20 a month or more.
Automatic bill payments should be reviewed quarterly. Most consumers are taking advantage of many of the automatic financial systems available that pay bills, deposit checks and pay off debts on their own. This does save time, but the process leaves a door wide open for abuse. Not only should all financial activity be reviewed monthly, the canny consumer will review his automatic payment arrangements very closely every three to four months, to ensure they are still doing exactly what he wants them to.
Car maintenance is essential in keeping your costs low during the year. Make sure that you keep your tires inflated at all times to maintain the proper control. Running a car on flat tires can increase your chance for an accident, putting you at high risk for losing a lot of money.
If you are trying to repair your credit score, be sure to check your credit report for mistakes. You may be suffering from a credit card company’s computer error. If you notice a mistake, be sure to have it corrected as soon as possible by writing to all of the major credit bureaus.
Keep good records of your expenses. If you aren’t keeping accurate records, it’s doubtful that you are claiming all you are allowed at tax time. It also makes your situation very difficult if an audit should happen. A digital or paper file can work just fine, so work on creating the system that works for you.
Keep track of your actions, and of whether they were successful or not. Go back over your notes and think about how you could have avoided a failure, or realize what you did right. Consider yourself as a student who constantly has to learn new things in order to improve.
You’ve reached the end of this article and are now better equipped to handle your hard earned money. Keep this knowledge on the top of your mind when weighing financial options that could greatly impact your quality of life, and you are sure to make smart decisions for your future.