The economy isn’t recovering as quickly as anyone would like, so it’s still important to keep a close eye on your personal finances and household spending for peace of mind. Is money still slipping through your fingers as fast as you get it? There are probably a few areas you can cut back. Read on for some fresh ideas.
To get out of debt faster, you should pay more than the minimum balance. This should considerably improve your credit score and by paying off your debt faster, you do not have to pay as much interest. This saves you money that you can use to pay off other debts.
Do not close credit card accounts in hopes of fixing your credit. Closing credit card accounts will not help your score, instead it will hurt your score. If the account has a balance, it will count towards your total debt balance, and show that you are making regular payments to a open credit card.
If you want to make the most of your assets, you should consider getting a rewards credit card. Depending on your lifestyle, you may be better off to get the card that offers the best cash rewards, or the largest number of airline miles. You should get the credit card that best fits your spending habits. It can return assets to you for spending money that you would spend anyway. The bottom line is always pay the balance in full every month and don’t be tempted to spend more money just to qualify for additional rewards.
To avoid surprise deductions from your checking account, access your account online at least once a month. Scroll back through the previous month and make note of all the recurring automatic deductions from your account. Go ahead and deduct those in your check ledger now – even if it puts you in a negative balance. The money won’t be gone until the debit is posted, but you will know not to spend money on unnecessary items until you have built up enough of a balance to cover your recurring automatic debits.
To best manage your finances, prioritize your debt. Pay off your credit cards first. Credit cards have a higher interest than almost any other type of debt, which means they build up high balances faster. Paying them down reduces your debt now, frees up credit for emergencies, and means that there will be less of a balance to collect interest over time.
Sign up as many of your bills for automatic payment as possible. This saves you a considerable amount of time. While you should still review your monthly activity, this will go much faster by checking your bank account online than by reviewing a checkbook ledger or your bills themselves. The extra time you get from automatic bill payment can be invested profitably in many other areas.
One of the best ways to improve your finances is to purchase the generic brand of products. The next time you are in the supermarket, purchase the store brand cereal, which can taste just as good as the higher priced, marketed brand. This can save you a lot of money when projected out over the year.
Cut down your old towels and make wash cloths or cleaning rags. Just because a towel is worn or stained is no reason to throw it away. Measure out several appropriately sized squares or rectangles and cut them out. You can leave them as is or use your sewing machine to quickly stitch around the edges.
When you are shopping for decorations for the holiday seasons it is always best to wait to buy them after the holiday. The retail stores always put them on sale the day after at insane savings. Sometimes you can save up to 90 percent on holiday items if you just wait!
A useful personal-finance tip is to investigate different funding sources prior to shopping for a new vehicle. Local banks and credit unions can be terrific sources for advantageous auto finance rates, often beating the manufacturers’ captive finance arms. By arranging your own financing prior to visiting a car dealership, you can be certain of getting the very best rate possible.
In today’s economy, with so many people out of work or underpaid, it is possible that you will need to live on a leaner budget than that which you have been accustomed. Doing the hard work of cutting expenses and expectations will pay off in the long run as you make it through this recession without added debt, but saving instead.
Making your money stretch is important when dealing with personal financial issues. One way in which you can work to save money is to start looking at used items instead of new items. If that stove breaks, check out a place like Craigslist for some deals on quality items. You can save upwards of 80%.
Even the smallest changes in your spending can make a huge difference in the long-term when savings are involved. Make your own coffee at home instead of getting one at the local cafe. The savings are endless if you consider the many things you buy that you do not need. Take the bus to week instead of driving. That can add up to hundreds of dollars every month. Small savings will add up over time, and you can be saving that money for retirement, or a big item that you want to purchase. In the long run, that will be worth a lot more than your morning cup of coffee.
Don’t pay so much for cable television. How many times have you said “there’s nothing on television even with all these channels?” If you’re like most people, you don’t even watch half the television channels you are paying for. You can save a lot of money by scaling back your television costs.
You work hard to make money. You should work as hard to keep it! Get spending under control and be sure to save what you can. Add the above tips to your arsenal of knowledge about making, spending and saving money, and watch your safety net grow. Enjoy your new peace of mind!