If you were to ask a thousand people what they would most want to change in their lives, the majority of answers will have something to do with personal finance. Money does not buy love or happiness but it does so much for your ability to enjoy life with greater ease and less stress. Read on for great advice on how to improve the personal finances of your own life.
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.
Concentrate your loans into one simple loan to fortify your personal finance goal. Not only can this make keeping track of where all your money is going, but also it gives you the added bonus of not having to pay interest rates to a variety of places. One simple interest rate beats four to five interest rates at other places.
Avoid buying new gadgets as soon as they come out. As we have all seen recently with some of the hottest new products, the price tends to come down within the first 6 months of release. Don’t jump on the train to buy your new toy at release, and you’ll save yourself a bundle.
To improve your personal finance habits, be sure to keep a buffer or surplus amount of money for emergencies. If your personal budget is completely taken up with no room for error, an unexpected car problem or broken window can be devastating. Be sure to allocate some money each month for unpredicted expenses.
Try to refrain from keeping a lot of money in your checking account. Typically, you will not need to have more than a thousand dollars to pay your bills and expenses. Instead, invest your money so that you can build on the money that you already have in your account.
Make sure that you are only paying for the amount of home insurance you need. You cannot file a claim for more than the value of your house and it’s contents, so having high insurance coverage could mean you’re paying for something you can’t even use. Do an inventory of your house and get a rough estimate of what you would claim, then speak to your insurance agent to make sure that your coverage matches that amount.
If offered by your company, consider signing up for a cafeteria plan for your health care costs. These plans allow you to set aside a regular amount of money into an account specifically to use for your medical expenses. The benefit is that this money comes out of your account pretax which will lower your adjusted gross income saving you some money come tax time. You can use these benefits for copays, prescriptions, deductibles and even some over the counter medications.
Lots of families have lost their primary source of income due to lay-offs or medical issues. In these cases you might be late with your rent payment or might not even be able to pay it. Find out from the landlord how much time you have to bring your account current, or if he allows you to live in the apartment for the period covered by the security deposit.
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.
Keep up with highly important documents like birth and death certificates, previous tax records, insurance policies, and wills by using a scanner to scan them to your computer system. Next, burn the images onto a single CD-R disc that can be easily accessed for your reference. This makes it more convenient to track down critical information in a snap.
If you don’t have enough money for food, apply for emergency food stamps. People in dire need can have the benefits process expedited. This means that families can get food stamps in as little as a week. Generally, people with extremely low incomes or who have dependent children will have their cases expedited.
If you have multiple credit cards for different retailers, place them in a zippered sandwich bag filled with water, then freeze the bag in your freezer. This helps you to resist temptation by creating a number of obstacles to an otherwise impulsive spending spree. Not only will you have to wait for the ice to thaw, but you might also end up making a mess – an excellent deterrent.
Are you concerned about your personal finances? Cut costs at the grocery store! Go vegetarian a few times a week! By eating less meat, you cut your grocery prices. Meat is usually one of the most expensive items in a grocery budget, so eliminate it once or twice a week. In addition, you may be eating healthier, as well as, making yourself try new and creative ways to eat!
You need to make sure you break down your expenses into categories. Split expenditures into two groups, one for set expenses, like rent or car payments, and one for those that can vary, like utility bills. By doing this, your budget will be much easier to follow. When you see how much you will need for each expense, it becomes easier to follow a budget.
Accurate information is key to developing and implementing any good strategy. Given the above advice you should be a bit more prepared to go after your personal finance goals and attain some peace of mind. Having control over your personal finances takes some training and discipline but in the long run you will find it very rewarding, in more ways than you can imagine!