Personal finance is more than simply money. In fact, more than anything else, finances are about common sense. You have to create a habit of managing finances, a behavior if you will. Many people do not learn this lesson by choice. Take the following advice seriously and learn to implement positive changes to your personal finances in order to live a happier and less stressful life.
When working with any personal finance company, watch out for scammers. As a general rule of thumb, if any offer sounds too good to be true then it usually is. Just read all of the fine print in the contracts, and if they do not offer any contract at all completely avoid their deals or promotions.
Set yourself a monthly budget and don’t go over it. Since most people live paycheck to paycheck, it can be easy to overspend each month and put yourself in the hole. Determine what you can afford to spend, including putting money into savings and keep close track of how much you have spent for each budget line.
Buying used can save you a lot of cash. Cars for example, lose up to 20% of their purchase price, just by signing on the dotted line and driving off the lot in it. Let someone else pay for that depreciation by purchasing a car that is a couple of years old. You will still have a low mileage warrantied car, but without the hit to your equity.
Consider downsizing to only one vehicle. It is only natural that having more than one car will cause your premiums to rise, as the company is taking care of multiple vehicles. Moving to one vehicle not only will drop your insurance rates, but it may also reduce the mileage and gas money you spend.
Stop eating so many fast food meals and restaurant food. You will save money by preparing meals at home.
When applying for a home loan, try to look good to the bank. Banks are looking for people with good credit, a down payment, and people who have a verifiable income. Banks have been raising their standards due to the increase in mortgage defaults. If you have problems with your credit, try to have it repaired before you apply for a loan.
Take advantage of student or senior discounts wherever you can. Certain stores offer the discounts every day, while others limit them to specific days of the week or one day per month. It does take a little work to find out the details of the discounts, but if you can save on the things you would buy anyway it is worth the effort.
As a college student, you will want to reduce the amount that you spend on books and supplies. Instead of purchasing books at the campus bookstore, which is usually at retail price, make friends with upperclassman who can give you these books at a discount. This can save you hundreds of dollars per semester.
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.
It isn’t called personal finance for no reason. Each person’s finances are different. Only you can decide the best approach for improving your situation. Hopefully, the information that was presented to you was able to give you some good ideas on what you can do to help your financial situation. Take the tips you have been given here and keep the basic notes in easy to grab places whenever you need reminders about what to do. Using this knowledge wisely will improve your finances greatly!