Understanding your personal finances isn’t going to happen overnight. You have to take your time to read and understand what it involves, as well as, just how everything affects you. As you start out in managing your personal finances, take the time to go over these tips and learn more about what you can expect.
When you are saving for an emergency fund, aim for at least three to six months worth of living expenses. This is not a large amount, considering the difficulty in finding employment if you ever lose your job. In fact, the larger the emergency fund, the better position you would be in to ride out any unforeseen financial catastrophes.
Minimize your credit card accounts to just one account. Having more than one card can lead to difficulties in managing your monthly payments. Typically most people spend on cards that are available and with multiples you run the risk of outstripping your ability to cover all the payments necessary to maintain your due dates.
Look into a better plan for your cell phone. Chances are if you have had your cell phone for at least a couple of years, there is probably something out there that will benefit you more. Call your provider and ask for a better deal, or look around and see what is being offered.
Improve your personal finance skills with a very useful but often overlooked tip. Make sure that you are taking about 10-13% of your paychecks and putting them aside into a savings account. This will help you out greatly during the tough economic times. Then, when an unexpected bill comes, you will have the funds to cover it and not have to borrow and pay interest fees.
Choosing the right schools can affect your personal finance. One of the most cost effective ways to get a prestigious degree or certification is by attending cheaper schools for part of your education, and switch over to a more expensive or better-ranked school for the remainder. Your credits will merge from the previous school and you will still gain the graduation benefits from the new school.
Your car and house are likely to be the biggest purchases you will make. The payments and the interest rates on these things are probably going to be a big part of how much you spend monthly. Try to pay them off quickly by making extra payments or applying your tax refund toward the principal.
Hiring a credit repair company can help you with some of the legwork involved in cleaning up your credit report, but beware of shady companies that make false or misleading claims. These companies may allege that you can start fresh with a clean credit report by using an Employee Identification number (EIN) rather than your Social Security number. However, they neglect to tell you that requesting an EIN from the IRS for this reason is a federal crime.
If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments and have no hope of becoming current, see if you qualify for a short sale before letting your home go into foreclosure. While a short sale will still negatively affect your credit rating and remain on your credit report for seven years, a foreclosure has a more drastic effect on your credit score and may even cause an employer to reject your job application.
If you are engaged to be married, consider protecting your finances and your credit with a prenup. Prenuptial agreements settle property disputes in advance, should your happily-ever-after not go so well. If you have older children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can also help confirm their right to your assets.
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.
Financial matters are never easy to cope with if you aren’t giving yourself the knowledge that it takes to get it all right. When referring to personal finances, you should be doing all that you can to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, as it will involve your personal life and you could make serious mistakes that you want to avoid. Use these personal finance tips that are designed to show you what personal finance is all about.