Any type of financial planning is a dynamic process that requires regular monitoring, and reevaluating. Here are some tips to get you started on your personal finance journey. If they seem a little complicated, take a deep breath and remember, you don’t need to follow every single tip, just the ones that apply to your personal situation.
Keep a daily checklist. Reward yourself when you’ve completed everything on the list for the week. Sometimes it’s easier to see what you have to do, than to rely on your memory. Whether it’s planning your meals for the week, prepping your snacks or simply making your bed, put it on your list.
Try to live your life using as little debt as possible. Almost everyone has a home mortgage or loans for educational purposes, but every effort should be made to eliminate dangerous credit card debt. Borrowing less means you have less money to pay towards fees and interest.
Make the move to local banks and credit unions. Your local bank and lending institutions will have more control over how they lend money resulting in better rates on credit cards and savings accounts, which could then be reinvested in your own community. All of this, with good old-fashioned personal service!
If you have a credit card without a rewards program, consider applying for one that earns you miles. Combine a credit card that earns miles with a frequent flier rewards program from your favorite airline and you’ll fly for free every now and again. Make sure to use your miles before they expire though.
Even if you buy grocery items at deep discounts, it’s pointless if they just spoil in your fridge. Even if the items you stock up on are ones you regularly use, you have to be able to consume them all before their expiration dates. Be realistic in your shopping so you take advantage of the right bargains.
If you are a member of any groups such as the police, military or a car assistance club, ask if a store provides discounts. Many shops offer discounts of 10% or even more, but not all advertise that fact. Prepare to show your card as proof of membership or give your number if you are shopping online.
Flexible spending accounts can be used for a variety of expenses. Using the flexible spending account to pay down medical bills or daycare can actually help you save money in the long run. With such an account, you can deposit money directly, before it gets taxed. Talk to a tax specialist first, because there may be some conditions involved you do not understand.
If you have a lot of one dollar bills, use them in some fun ways to increase your income. Buying lottery ticket with a spare dollar offers the opportunity to win a much greater amount than was expended.
If you are currently renting, start saving. Once you have an idea of the monthly mortgage payment you qualify for, save the difference between that amount and your current rent payment. This will get you used to making a larger monthly payment, and any savings can be put towards your down payment for your new home.
If you are the type of person that likes to use a credit card, make sure you are using one that offers rewards. You can earn things like cash back or you can pick out items in a catalog. These can be great presents to give to people for birthdays or holidays.
You probably read this article because you felt like you could use a few tips on how to manage your personal finances in a more productive way. Now that you have gained some knowledge and some easy tips to follow, you can look at what your situation is and put what you have learned into action.