Dealing with our personal finances can be a sore subject. We avoid them like the plague when we know we won’t like what we see. If we like where we are headed, we tend to forget all the work that got us there. Dealing with your finances should always be an ongoing project. We’ll cover some of the highlights that can help you make sense of your money.
Avoid thinking that you cannot afford to save up for an emergency fund because you barely have enough to meet daily expenses. The truth is that you cannot afford not to have one. An emergency fund can save you if you ever lose your current source of income. Even saving a little every month for emergencies can add up to a helpful amount when you need it.
Try using cash to pay for all of your purchases next week. When you buy goods with cash instead of plastic credits cards, it is easier to see exactly how much money you are parting with. Also, if you don’t have a credit card on your person you can avoid impulse buys.
One thing that you will need to be very concerned with when analyzing your personal finances is your credit card statement. It is very important to pay down your credit card debt, as this will only rise with the interest that is tacked onto it each month. Pay off your credit card immediately to increase your net worth.
One of the best ways to get the best bang for your buck is to reuse items that are not perishable. When you bring your lunch to work, use the same container over and over. This will reduce the amount of brown bags that you have to buy, while still keeping your food secured and fresh.
If you love to shop, one tip that you can follow is to buy clothes out of season. When it is the wintertime, you can get great deals on summer clothes and vice versa. Since you will eventually use these anyway, this is a great way to maximize your savings.
Make sure you’re not overspending on luxury items that you can’t actually afford. The most common problem people have is that they’re spending more than they’re bringing in. If you don’t have the money for a luxury item, don’t buy it. Instead of putting in on the credit card, put a bit of money aside toward the item each week. It’ll save you more in the long run.
Going to stores that are about to go out of business or be turned into a different store, can often produce items that can be bought at a greatly discounted price. Getting items you need or can resell at a higher price can both benefit your personal finances.
Ordering items that are in limited edition productions or getting the items pre-ordered before everyone else can get it in stores will often allow one to resell it for a higher price than they initially paid. This difference in prices translates into a gain for ones personal finances for a quick resale.
If you are self-employed, don’t forget to deduct your insurance premiums on your taxes. The premium amount you deduct will reduce your adjusted gross income and you can use it even if you do not itemize your deductions. This can save you quite a bit come tax time, so don’t forget about it.
If possible, steer clear of the emergency room. Walk-in clinics, and actual appointments at the doctor will both have a huge reduction in cost and co-pays. Emergency room doctors can also charge separately from hospitals if they are contracted. So, you would have two medical bills instead of one. Stick with the clinic.
If you keep a good record of finances, you will not have trouble during tax season. Organize healthcare statements, insurance papers, receipts and other important documents so they can be easily retrieved for tax time.
If you have your debt spread into many different places, it may be helpful to ask a bank for a consolidation loan which pays off all of your smaller debts and acts as one big loan with one monthly payment. Make sure to do the math and determine whether this really will save you money though, and always shop around.
If you plan to open a bank account think about what services you need from the account. Quite often banks charge fees for various services unless you keep a minimum balance. You will have to decide if keeping your money tied-up in a minimum balance is worth the extra services.
Our finances need to be dealt with on a regular basis in order for them to stay on the track that you set for them. Keeping a close eye on how you are using your money will help things stay smooth and easy. Incorporate some of these tricks into your next financial review.