One mistake that is commonly made for people who are just beginning to manage their own finances is not keeping receipts or bank statements. Sometimes, there are mistakes in your records that other people will not fix for you. It’s important to keep track of how your money is spent each month.
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.
After you’ve developed a clear cut budget, then develop a savings plan. Say you spend 75% of your income on bills, leaving 25%. With that 25%, determine what percentage you will save and what percentage will be your fun money. In this way, over time, you will develop a savings.
If you have more than one student loan, consider consolidating them. Consolidated loans can be locked in at a low interest rate, often lower than the interest rates on your original loans. You also have the option of extending your loan payoff period if need be. Contact the agency that holds your student loans to see if you qualify.
Heating can be the largest household expense during the winter months. Some heating types are more expensive than others. If you live in an area where the winter is cold, don’t rent a place with electric heating. As electricity is the most expensive energy source, stay away from rentals with any kind of electric heating system.
Get a free checking account. If you have a checking account you have to pay monthly fees on, you could be wasting money. Instead, look for a checking account that doesn’t have monthly fees or per transaction fees. You may have to set up direct deposit with some banks to get a free checking account.
If you’re looking to afford a specific item, like a new couch, car or computer it can be helpful to save the money yourself rather than buying it on credit. Not only is this cheaper, but it protects you from debt. Try making a separate bank account and putting a certain amount in each month and then buying the item when you have enough.
Start saving for emergencies. Budget your expenses so you will have money left over to pay for any emergencies that may arise. This will help cut out the chance that you may have to use a credit card in case of an emergency and will save you finance charges and interest.
Be realistic when it comes to saving. Some people find it very easy to save money, others, not so much. If you’ve never been able to successfully save money in the past, don’t think that you will suddenly be able to save hundreds of dollars a month. Start small, and get used to the habit of putting aside an amount each month. Once you see it starting to grow, you can increase the amount of money that you save.
A great personal finance tip is to select the most efficient roof for your house. If you’re looking to save money, you should opt for a lighter color roof because they’re better at reflecting light from the sun. Lighter colored roofs will save you more money than darker colored roofs.
Instead of letting yourself get lost in a pile of debt, learn how to manage your finances and spend your money wisely. Balancing a checkbook, keeping receipts and making a budget will all help you make the most of your income, no matter how much money you make each year.