It is strange that, considering the vital nature of the subject, many people lack training in managing their personal finances. Personal finance skills can save money, improve savings and increase one’s effective income. Fortunately, it is never too late to educate yourself on the subject. Here are a few quick personal finance tips that anyone might find useful:
You need to meet certain qualifications before you can rent an apartment. Be sure you have verifiable income, acceptable credit, and enough funds for the security deposit and the first month’s rent. Don’t forget that if you have less than perfect credit, the electric, gas, phone, and cable companies usually ask for a security deposit before they establish service under your name.
When buying a car, choose a used car. The first 10,000 miles on a car are the most expensive. Let someone else drive the car off the lot and then you can take advantage of the price drop when you go to buy the car. The car’s value will not have gone down much, but the price will when buying used.
Buying certain items in bulk can save you money over time. Items that you know you will always need, such as toilet paper or toothpaste can be bought in bulk quantities at a reduced prices to save money.
Talk to your bank to see if you can set up a plan that automatically transfers money into your savings account every month. This method makes it a requirement for you to save some of your money every month. Saving up for a vacation is another great way for you to develop the proper saving habits.
Avoid buying new gadgets as soon as they come out. As we have all seen recently with some of the hottest new products, the price tends to come down within the first 6 months of release. Don’t jump on the train to buy your new toy at release, and you’ll save yourself a bundle.
If you and your spouse have a joint bank account and constantly argue about money, consider setting up separate bank accounts. By setting up separate bank accounts and assigning certain bills to each account, a lot of arguments can be avoided. Separate banks account also mean that you don’t have to justify any private, personal spending to your partner or spouse.
Keep your checkbook balanced. It’s really not so hard and can save you the expense and embarrassment of bounced checks and overdrawn fees. Do not just call the bank for a balance and count on having that amount in your account. Some debits and checks may not have cleared yet, resulting in overdrafts when they hit the bank.
If you want your child to have a good grasp on the value of money and on the particulars of managing their finances, start them off with an allowance early. Having a child earn their allowance through chores is a good way to help them learn that hard work pays off.
Automatic bill payments should be reviewed quarterly. Most consumers are taking advantage of many of the automatic financial systems available that pay bills, deposit checks and pay off debts on their own. This does save time, but the process leaves a door wide open for abuse. Not only should all financial activity be reviewed monthly, the canny consumer will review his automatic payment arrangements very closely every three to four months, to ensure they are still doing exactly what he wants them to.
Feel free to take advantage of paperless billing and paperless bank statements, but be careful not to become senseless on personal finance matters. The pitfall lurking in paperless finance lies in how easy it becomes to ignore your month-to-month finances. Banks, billers, or even thieves, can take advantage of this willful ignorance, so force yourself to review your online finances regularly.
If you’re trying to save money, start with your grocery list. Instead of buying all name brand foods, start buying store brand instead. Most of the time the food is identical and you’ll save yourself a lot of money. Why should you waste money that could be put to better use on a name brand?
Learning to handle money wisely is a great idea for self-improvement. By taking care of finances, a wise person reaps the same benefits that they would by getting a raise. After all, making dollars stretch further is just as effective as making more dollars. Time spent refining personal finance skills is never time wasted.