It is strange that, considering the vital nature of the subject, many people lack training in managing their personal finances. Personal finance skills can save money, improve savings and increase one’s effective income. Fortunately, it is never too late to educate yourself on the subject. Here are a few quick personal finance tips that anyone might find useful:
Triple check your credit card statements the moment you arrive home. Make sure to pay special attention in looking for duplicates of any charges, extra charges you don’t recognize, or simple overcharges. If you spot any unusual charges, contact both your credit card company and the business that charged you immediately.
When you are saving for an emergency fund, aim for at least three to six months worth of living expenses. This is not a large amount, considering the difficulty in finding employment if you ever lose your job. In fact, the larger the emergency fund, the better position you would be in to ride out any unforeseen financial catastrophes.
To avoid debt, you should keep your credit balance as low as possible. You might be tempted to accept the offer you qualify for, but you should borrow only as much money as you actually need. Spend some time to determine this exact amount before you accept a loan offer.
When it comes to maintaining your financial health, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is establish an emergency fund. Having an emergency fund will help you avoid sliding into debt in the event you or your spouse loses your job, needs medical care or has to face an unexpected crisis. Setting up an emergency fund is not hard to do, but requires some discipline. Figure out what your monthly expenses are and set a goal to save 6-8 months of funds in an account you can easily access if needed. Plan to save a full 12 months of funds if you are self-employed.
To improve your personal finance habits, make different categories for your various expenses. For instance, put fixed expenses such as rent or mortgage payments in one category. Variable expenditure, such as eating out, shopping, and credit card payments should be placed in a different category. This will help you prioritize expenses.
Smoking and drinking are two things that you will want to avoid if you want to put yourself in the best position financially. These habits not only hurt your health, but can take a great toll on your wallet as well. Take the steps necessary to reduce or quit smoking and drinking.
Helping someone move in to a new house or apartment can be a way to get some quick cash for ones personal finances. Even if one doesn’t earn any money or only earns a small amount of money they will have at least earned a favor from the person that they helped move.
Learning to handle money wisely is a great idea for self-improvement. By taking care of finances, a wise person reaps the same benefits that they would by getting a raise. After all, making dollars stretch further is just as effective as making more dollars. Time spent refining personal finance skills is never time wasted.