During difficult economic times, intelligently managing your personal finances can mean the difference between living comfortably, and losing your home or being forced to file for bankruptcy protection. This article was written with the average person in mind. It is designed to help you improve your financial situation by teaching you to intelligently manage your personal finances.
To establish a good credit history or repair a bad one, you will want to keep your credit card balances low. You should never let your balance get anywhere near your maximum credit line. Having reasonable balances that you pay off regularly is a sign of a responsible credit user who can be trusted with debt.
Do not take on debt when you are trying to balance your personal finances. Don’t let your credit cards tempt you into a mountain of debt. The less you borrow, the more you save yourself from paying high interest and high fees.
If holding a garage sale or selling your things on craigslist isn’t appealing to you, consider consignment. You can consign just about anything these days. Furniture, clothes, jewelry, you name it. Contact a few stores in your area to compare their fees and services. The consignment store will take your items and sell them for you, cutting you a check for a percentage of the sale.
Having a steady paycheck, regardless of the type of job, can be the key to building your personal finances. A constant stream of reliable income will mean that there is always money coming into your account for whatever is deemed best or most needed at the time. Regular income can build your personal finances.
If you want to minimize the amount that you spend, in a spreadsheet, track every single penny spent. This will allow you to see where you are wasting money and where your necessities are. Analyze this information, and improve your overall spending habits to put more money in your bank account.
If you do not like balancing your checkbook manually, then you can do it online. There are many software packages and Internet resources to help you track spending, monitor income, work out interest, and even plan out your budget and savings for the month.
If you can barely live check to check, you may need to get overdraft protection, which you may be able to get at your credit union or bank. Yes, it is a few extra dollars every month, but just one unprotected overdraw can cost you $20 or more in fees each time that it happens.
Rebalance any investments that you may have. Stocks and bonds have had an overall good year, though cash yields are near zero. Look at your portfolio and make sure that you don’t need to move anything around so that you are earning more money. You should be doing this every year to help your portfolio.
A great personal finance tip is to always be looking for the best deals when you’re shopping. It’s foolish to decide to buy anything without trying to find it cheaper somewhere else. By shopping around, you can usually find a much better deal than going with your first option.
When you buy a new car, make the biggest possible down payment. The car depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot, so without the big down payment, you’ll soon owe more than the car is worth (you’ll be upside down on your note). Any change in your finances and you could be in default.
As far as placing your finances in order is concerned, there is no such thing as starting too late. Getting your finances in order late is better than never getting them in order at all. Any start is a good one when it comes to your finances.
Satisfaction is how you can begin to save money and get control of your financial situation. You have to know that saving and pinching those pennies is well worth the effort. Some people are simply addicted to spending and running up their credit limit. So stick with a savings plan and enjoy that feeling of satisfaction you get when you’re looking at 5 digits.
Remember, intelligently managing your personal finances is the key to wealth and security. In an economic downturn, being careless or foolish with your money can have grave consequences. Carefully read the tips in this article, and apply what you learn to your own personal financial situation. By doing so, you can protect yourself from financial ruin.