Money, money, money. It rules our world, whether we like it or not. Dealing with our finances requires that we learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here are some tips that can help you to better manage your finances. Take these tips to heart and gain control of your money.
Banks offer two different types of loans: fixed and variable interest rate loans. Try to avoid variable interest rate loans at any cost as they can turn into a disaster. Fixed rate loans will have the same interest rate throughout the loan’s life. The interest rate of the variable rate loans and their monthly payments change either by following the fluctuations of the market or the contract between the bank and the borrower. The monthly payment can easily reach a level the borrower can’t afford.
One of the best ways to start saving is to get an old-fashioned piggy bank. Get a big plastic one that cannot be opened. Put all your change in your piggy bank and if you find money or get money as a gift, put half of it in the piggy bank. When the piggy bank is full, cut it open. You will have a great start to a savings account.
Budget, budget, budget – yes, whatever you do, make a budget. The only way to know what is coming in and what is going out is with a budget and a ledger. Whether it’s with pen and paper or a computer program, sit down and get it done. Your finances will thank you for it.
Try paying for your food and other daily purchases on a credit card. Then, at the end of the month, pay off that credit card completely. This shows that you’re able to be responsible when borrowing money and that you’ll pay it back. This is a nice, easy way to improve your credit score.
Shop thrift stores to accumulate a professional wardrobe. Business clothing can be expensive. It is something we all need, however, if we are to convey the appropriate image at work. Thrift stores offer an affordable option for all of our wardrobe needs. You don’t have to tell anyone where you bought it or how much you paid!
To get out of debt quickly, pay off your highest interest debts first. You may feel that it’s better to pay off your debts evenly, but paying off high interest debts as soon as possible is more cost efficient in the long run. This is especially important, as credit card rates are expected to rise in the years to come.
When creating a budget, spread your expenses over each paycheck for the month. Add up your bills and divide by how many times you are paid each month. Through the year you will occasionally get an extra paycheck if you are paid weekly or bi-weekly. You can use this extra paycheck to pay for less frequent expenses, such as those that come yearly.
Never co-sign a loan for anyone!!! No matter how much you think you can trust them, if the debt is not something you are willing to pay off, just don’t do it. If you do, and they don’t pay, the debt will be your responsibility, and you will have to fork up the money.
Always have an emergency fund equal to three to six months of living expenses, in case of unexpected job loss or other emergency. Even though interest rates on savings accounts are currently very low, you should still keep an emergency fund, preferably in a federally insured deposit account, for both protection and peace of mind.
Take advantage of rewards cards offered at stores. You can get free gas or money off of gas if you buy groceries at certain stores. You can also buy gift cards for other purchases you may make at retail stores and save even more on gas! You will be happy you thought about it!
Learning about finances is a neverending task. Our monetary needs and problems are always changing and evolving. Make a commitment to being a lifetime learner of money and how you can best stay on top of any financial issue. Don’t keep your head in the sand.