The state of the economy is forcing many families to take a long, hard, look at their wallets. Focusing on spending and saving may feel frustrating, but taking good care of your personal finances will only benefit you in the long run. Here are some great personal finance tips to help get you started.
Make your home more eco-friendly by switching all the light bulbs in your house to compact fluorescent lights. They will save you money on your monthly power or energy bill and also last much longer than traditional bulbs, meaning you won’t have to spend as much money, or time replacing them.
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.
Buy in Bulk. Stores like Costco and Sams Club are popular for a reason. A single person may not be able to use six cans of peanut butter in a reasonable time, but non perishable items like toilet paper may last you for a year! Buy in bulk what makes sense for you and add up the savings.
Save on Christmas gifts by making presents instead of spending money. You’ll stay out of department stores and save a ton of money. Your goal here is to reduce the cost of gifts and increase what you have left in savings after the holidays.
Your personal finances will bring you to take on debt at some time. There is something you want but cannot afford. A loan or credit card will allow you to have it right now but pay for it later. Yet this is not always a winning formula. Debt is a burden that inhibits your ability to act freely; it can be a form of bondage.
If you’re a responsible credit card holder who always pays balances on time and in full, it is a good idea to consider rewards credit cards. There are tons of different rewards that are available, so you should be able to find one that appeals to you. By doing this, you’ll be able to make a bit of money off purchases you normally make anyway.
Fund your retirement account heavily. Make sure that you are at least put in as much as your company will match. More than that is even better. Planning for retirement now will keep you from worrying about it later. You will have a nice nest egg and be able to live comfortably when you reach retirement age.
Unless you want to deal with a lot of financial problems going forward, you should avoid co-signing a loan for friends or family. If they need a co-signer, the odds are good that they’re not that dependable in the credit department. Their failure to pay down debt leaves you on the hook with the creditors.
To have a different financial pattern then before, have a new mindset then before. Instead of looking at just income and expenses and balancing the two, set a goal you want to manage between the two. Instead of just knowing you should save more money, identify something specific you want to save money towards. Your new mindset will result in new behaviors immediately.
If you’re using a rewards credit card that requires a minimum purchase amount to gain the reward, use it where you shop the most. Even if you aren’t planning on spending the minimum amount required, you can purchase gift cards, which you can use later. This technique works even better at grocery stores that you will consistently shop at.
Never invest all of your money into one company regardless of how good the company has been doing. While you do want to put some money into a company you know is doing well, you should diversify in case something happens and that company starts to lose a lot of money.
While no one wants to cut back on their spending, this is a great opportunity to develop healthy spending habits. Even when your financial situation improves, these tips will help you take care of your money and keep your finances stable. It’s tough to change the way you deal with money, but it’s worth the extra effort.