When we are careful in the way we spend our money, it enhances the likelihood that over time our personal wealth will grow rather than stagnate or even shrink. This is what personal finance is all about. By taking even the smallest steps to ensure we are spending our money wisely, we are taking steps to secure our future.
Whenever you can, avoid debt. This will result in healthy personal finances. Though certain debts are hard to avoid, including those for home and education expenses, it is important to stay away from incurring expensive, unnecessary debt such as credit card debt. The less money you borrow, the less you will waste in interest and fees.
Set up your bank account to transfer a predetermined sum of money from your checking to your savings once a month. You will forget you even have this money or see it as a bill, just like any other expense. Your savings can add up quickly by doing this.
If one has a hobby such as painting or woodcarving they can often turn that into an extra stream of revenue. By selling the products of ones hobby in markets or over the internet one can produce money to use however they best see fit. It will also provide a productive outlet for the hobby of choice.
Always buy used cars over new and save yourself money. The biggest depreciation in car value happens during the first 10,000 miles it is driven. After that the depreciation becomes much slower. Buy a car that has those first miles on it to get a much better deal for just as good a car.
Budget, budget, budget - yes, whatever you do, make a budget. The only way to know what is coming in and what is going out is with a budget and a ledger. Whether it's with pen and paper or a computer program, sit down and get it done. Your finances will thank you for it.
Stay away from credit repair offers sent to you via email. They promise the world, but they could easily just be a front for identify theft. You would be sending them all of the information they would need to steal your identity. Only work with credit repair agencies, in person, to be on the safe side.
When it comes to saving money, one important point to consider is that you will want to look for coupons as often as possible. This will save you enormous amounts of money in the long run. Check newspapers, in-store fliers, and the store's website for money saving deals.
If you are traveling overseas, be sure to contact your bank and credit card companies to let them know. Many banks are alerted if there are charges overseas. They may think the activity is fraudulent and freeze your accounts. Avoid the hassle by simple calling your financial institutions to let them know.
Pay off your high interest debts before saving. If you are saving in an account that pays 5%, but owe money on a card that charges 10%, you are losing money by not paying off that debt. Make it a priority to pay your high interest cards off and then stop using them. Saving will become easier and more beneficial as well.
Shop the dollar stores. You can often buy the same products in dollar stores for a fraction of the price you would pay in bigger department stores. Whether you are buying toothbrushes, over-the-counter medicines, cosmetics or any one of hundreds of other products there are big savings to be had in dollar stores.
Diversify your investments using mutual funds. It's difficult and expensive for a small investor to create a diversified portfolio using individual securities, but a no-load mutual fund can provide instant diversification at low cost. You can invest as little as $1000 in a fund that holds anywhere from 20 to several hundred securities, for an annual fee as low as 1%. Diversification helps to lower investment risk by reducing dependence on any one security to provide a favorable return.
Develop diverse streams of income. Don't get stuck depending on a single source. This will help you be prepared for any changes that occur which might have adverse effects your income. Don't judge opportunities to earn money by the amount, but rather the ratio of reward in proportion to investment of time and energy.
Save a little money every day. Getting a burger at fast food place with your coworkers is a pretty cheap lunch, right? A hamburger is only $3.29. Well, that's over $850 a year, not counting drinks and fries. Brown bag your lunch and get something much more delicious and healthy for less than a dollar.
Never, ever take out an auto title loan. An auto title loan is a subprime loan that is secured with a car title. That means that if you fail to repay the loan, then your car will be repossessed. The interest rates on these loans are extremely high, so a large minority of borrowers end up losing their cars.
If you are overwhelmed with debt take steps to generate more income. What are the possibilities of taking on another part time job or trying for a raise at your current job? These are all question you must ask to adequately assess your situation and to work out a solution.
Personal finance is determined as much by the small decisions we make in life as by the larger ones. Many small purchases over time, after all, add up to the cost of one larger purchase. Whether the two totals equate to value is something that should be considered well before that first dollar is ever laid down in payment.