Whether you know a little or a lot about managing your personal finances, you can always benefit from knowing a little bit more. Education is key when it comes to controlling your money. The article below discusses tips and advice to help you stay on top of your personal finances.
A great personal finance tip is to forget about name brands, especially when you’re going grocery shopping. A lot of the name brand stuff is expensive just because of the brand itself. What people don’t know is that you can get the same quality products from generic name brands.
Heating can be the largest household expense during the winter months. Some heating types are more expensive than others. If you live in an area where the winter is cold, don’t rent a place with electric heating. As electricity is the most expensive energy source, stay away from rentals with any kind of electric heating system.
When you are putting together a family budget, make sure to get all in the family involved including your children. Since money is spent on each family member, having your family’s input on how much they spend and how much to save, a compromise can then be made on a budget. It is easier to stick with a budget when you have a family consensus.
Prioritize your spending. Identify essential spending and the optional things that you want. If you plan your purchases ahead of time, the things you want, won’t cut into the things you really need. Before buying something nonessential, take time to consider it carefully and ask yourself if you want it more than something else you’re saving for.
Using a frugal approach to spending can be a powerful method of keeping your personal finances under control. A few simple changes in your spending can make a dramatic difference. Purchase a used car instead of a new one. Shop around for a cheaper cell phone plan. Look for ways to make your home more energy efficient.
Shop at thrift stores where you’ll find big savings on clothes and household items. It’s amazing what people donate to these places! Often you can find brand new items with the store tags still attached. Other times the used items you find there are as good as new. The thrift store price is often only pennies of what items cost new.
While good financial management skills are all about keeping you out of trouble, they still have a part to play if you end up in hot water. If you’re having trouble paying your bills or repaying your debts, don’t hide from your problems. Take the initiative and contact your creditors. You’ll be surprised by how flexible they can be, if you engage with them cooperatively.
If you don’t already have one, open an IRA. You can contribute catch-up funds anytime throughout the year to get your maximum interest. This is also tax deductible. So, if you need to find a few more ways to raise those deduction amounts, it’s better to pay yourself, than uncle Sam.
Always look over your various insurance policy coverage, so that you always know what you are and what you aren’t covered for, in case you need to use it. You don’t want to pay for more than you have to, when your insurance will cover that expense for you.
Now that you’ve come to the end of this article, it is clear what you need to do to manage your personal finances so that they don’t spin out of control. Take what you’ve learned here to heart, and apply the information as necessary. You are now on the road to being financially independent.
About the Author:
The Retirement Group educates corporate employees that are transitioning or retiring with Hewitt Resources.