Getting your family’s financial picture under control can have life changing effects. It can help to alleviate stress, make daily living more fun, and provide long term security, too. Taking the steps to get your finances under control can be a confusing process. In this article, we will discuss some tried and true tips that can get you on the right track.
If you are planning a major trip, consider opening a new credit card to finance it that offers rewards. Many travel cards are even affiliated with a hotel chain or airline, meaning that you get extra bonuses for using those companies. The rewards you rack up can cover a hotel stay or even an entire domestic flight.
Pay off your high interest credit cards first. Come up with a plan for how much money you can put towards your credit card debt each month. In addition to making the minimum payments on all your cards, throw the rest of your budgeted amount at the card with the highest balance. Then move on to the next highest balance and so on.
Don’t assume you need to buy a used car. The demand for good, low mileage used cars has gone up in recent years. This means that the cost of these cars makes it hard to find a good deal. Used cars also carry higher interest rates. So take a look at the long term cost, compared to an entry level new car. It might be the smarter financial option.
Make sure to spend less money than you earn. It’s so easy to put our everyday items onto credit cards because we just can’t afford it right then but that is the start to disaster. If you can’t afford it right then, go without it until you can.
To improve your personal finance habits, project all of your expenses for the coming month when you make your budget. This will help you to make allowances for all of your expenses, as well as make adjustments in real-time. Once you have recorded everything as accurately as possible, you can prioritize your expenses.
If you want your child to have a good grasp on the value of money and on the particulars of managing their finances, start them off with an allowance early. Having a child earn their allowance through chores is a good way to help them learn that hard work pays off.
Consider having a savings account that automatically debits from your paycheck each month. One of the hardest parts of saving is getting into the habit of saving and having it taken out automatically, removes this step. Also, automatically refilling your savings account means that it won’t be depleted if you do need to dip into it for any type of emergencies, especially if it’s more than once.
Coffee is something that you should try to minimize in the morning as much as possible. Purchasing coffee at one of the most popular stores can set you back 5-10 dollars per day, depending on your purchasing frequency. Instead, drink a glass of water or munch on fruit to give you the energy you require.
Adjusting the temperature that you have your hot water tank set at will help you reduce your monthly utility bills. It only takes a minute but it will save you a great deal of money over the year. It will also help to prevent burns on children that could potentially happen.
If you’re trying to improve your personal budget, one easy way to get yourself in the mindset is to get your paycheck put directly into a savings account rather than checking or cash. This will help get you in the habit of saving money and not thinking of it all as disposable income.
If you have your debt spread into many different places, it may be helpful to ask a bank for a consolidation loan which pays off all of your smaller debts and acts as one big loan with one monthly payment. Make sure to do the math and determine whether this really will save you money though, and always shop around.
Your family should have a strong financial picture if you want to be in control of your life. Getting your finances under control has a trickle down effect on every area of your life. As we have discussed in this article, getting started can feel confusing, but it doesn’t have to. If you follow the simple steps discussed here, your financial forecast will improve and your life will, too.