In these uncertain times, keeping a close and careful eye on your personal finances is more important than ever. To make sure you’re making the most of your money, here are some tips and ideas that are easy to implement, covering just about every aspect of saving, spending, earning, and investing.
Watch those nickles and dimes. Small purchases are easy to forget about and write off, as not really making much of a difference in your budget. Those little expenses add up fast and can make a serious impact. Take a look at how much you really spend on things like coffee, snacks and impulse buys.
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.
If your finances are such that you can’t afford to put a sizeable down payment on a new car, you can’t afford that car. Cars depreciate extremely quickly, and unless you make a large payment up-front, you will end up upside-down on that loan. Owing more than the worth of your car makes it difficult to sell the car and can put you in a bad position if the car were to be wrecked.
One piece of advice that you should follow so that you are always in a safe position is to establish an emergency account. If you are ever fired from your job or faced hard times, you will want to have an account that you can resort to for additional income.
If you live near a group of employees that you work with, form a carpool. This will allow you to save money on gas, reducing one of your expenses dramatically over the year. Carpooling is not only fun, but a great way to implement as a money management tool for the year’s expenses.
Make sure you read over your credit card statement very carefully every month. Make sure there aren’t any charges that shouldn’t be on there. It helps if you keep any receipts from purchases where you used your credit card this way you can use those to verify any charges on your account.
If at all possible, pay off your credit card balances in full. Only put as much as you can pay off on the credit card each month. It will show that you are a responsible borrower and it will increase your credit rating as well as make it easier to take out lines of credit in the future.
These tips will help you save more, spend wisely, and have enough left over to make smart investments. Now that you know the best rules of the financial road, start thinking about what to do with all that extra cash. Don’t forget to save, but if you’ve been especially good, a small personal reward could be nice too!