Getting your personal finances in order is the first step for many other goals. It leads to having more spending money in the bank, better credit and an overall better quality of life for you and your family. The rest of this article will give you some advice on how you can gain control of your finances.
If you can afford to do so, open an installment account, such as a loan or car payment. These will add extra weight onto your credit profile and will increase your credit score as long as it stays within your debt to income ratio. Be careful and only take on debt you can afford.
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.
Never use a credit card for cash advances. The interest rate on a cash advance can be almost double the interest rate on a purchase. The interest on cash advances is also calculated from the moment you withdrawal the cash, so you will still be charged some interest even if you pay off your credit card in full at the end of the month.
Get rid of your credit cards to improve your financial situation. Credit cards charge huge interest rates and their fees can be massive as well. It can also be very tempting to run up a larger balance than you can comfortably pay off each month. Instead of plastic, give cash only a try.
Every time you get a raise, set aside at least half of the new, after-tax increase for saving more each month. You will still enjoy a higher income and will never miss the extra money which you were never used to spending. It is even better if you set up your paycheck or checking account to transfer the money to savings automatically.
To maximize the money in your wallet, try not to shop on an empty stomach. When you are hungry, you are more prone to an impulse purchase, given your higher levels of stress and anxiety. Additionally, you will usually spend money on fast food, which will add up over time.
There are many ways that you can find great deals on clothes, to put more money in your pocket and limit overspending. Avoid shopping at the upscale stores in the mall and shop at a clearance store, which carries the same brand named items, at much lower prices to fit your budget.
Take a snapshot of your spending habits. Keep a journal of absolutely everything that you purchase for at least a month. Every dime must be accounted for in the journal in order to be able to truly see where your money is going. After the month is over, review and see where changes can be made.
Write your budget down if you want to stick to it. There is something very concrete about writing something down. It makes your income versus spending very real and helps you to see the benefits of saving money. Evaluate your budget monthly to make sure it’s working for you and that you really are sticking to it.
With a little planning and putting these tips and hints into place, you too can see the results you are looking for. As we have outlined in this article, your finances are a matter of sound judgment and self discipline as you make a plan and stick to it.