Many people find their personal finances to be one of the most confusing and stressful elements of their lives. If you are one of these people, don’t despair. This article will give you the knowledge and advice you need to deal with almost any financial situation that you may encounter.
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.
Learn the signs of financial distress to a lender and avoid them. Suddenly opening multiple accounts or attempting to are huge red flags on your credit report. Using one credit card to pay off another is a sign of distress as well. Actions like these tell a prospective lender that you are not able to survive on your current income.
Minimize your credit card accounts to just one account. Having more than one card can lead to difficulties in managing your monthly payments. Typically most people spend on cards that are available and with multiples you run the risk of outstripping your ability to cover all the payments necessary to maintain your due dates.
The envelope system is a tried and true budgeting technique that can work well for those who have a hard time staying within their budget. Cash out your paycheck at each pay period and put a predetermined amount of cash into each envelope for each line on your budget. You can then only spend the cash that you have for each item. It prevents you from overspending as you have a visual for what is left.
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.
To teach your children about personal finance, start giving them an allowance when they are young. This is a good way to teach them the value of money while also teaching them responsibility. Earning their own money will ensure that children will know the worth of working and saving when they are older.
If you are planning on not paying a bill this month, don’t let it be your insurance premium! In as little as two missed payments you could find your insurance coverage canceled. If you’re already facing financial difficulties, this will NOT be the time to have to pay for any accident that happens out-of-pocket!
To make sure your checking account isn’t a drain on your finances, take the time to find a truly free checking account. Some checking accounts claim to be free, but have high minimum funds requirements or will charge a fee if you don’t have direct deposit. This can put you in a bad place if you become unemployed. A totally free checking account will allow you to make the best use of your finances no matter what your situation is.
Whenever possible, pay with cash. Carrying cash is a tangible reminder of how much or little money you have remaining, to meet your upcoming needs and expenses. Unlike debit and credit cards, cash is accepted practically everywhere and is perpetually free of annoying surcharges, fees and confusing fine print.
Set aside a portion of one day each week to devote to your finances. You may use a portion of this time to: discuss moving payment due dates with companies you owe; or just quickly review what bills will be due soon. Dedicating a little time each week will keep you from missing payments and having unnecessary late fees.
Trusts are not only intended for people with a lot of wealth. A trust allows you to say where your assets will go in the event of your death. Dealing with this in advance can save a lot of grief, as well as protect your assets from creditors and higher taxation.
Your personal finances don’t have to be the source of endless worry and frustration. By applying the ideas you have just learned, you can master virtually any financial situation. Before you know it, you’ll have turned what was once one of your biggest anxieties into one of your greatest strengths.