Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out just where all your money goes. Little purchases can add up fast, and if you’re already in bad financial shape, they can take your situation from bad to worse. That’s why it’s important to develop good personal finance habits. Keep reading to learn money advice anyone can use.
Listen to logic, not emotion; keep calm and avoid making decisions due to panic or excessive excitement. Starting with small accounts can make it easier to keep emotions in check. If you keep your cool when making decisions, you will have an easier time following your initial plan consistently and meeting the goals you set for yourself.
Do not close credit card accounts in hopes of fixing your credit. Closing credit card accounts will not help your score, instead it will hurt your score. If the account has a balance, it will count towards your total debt balance, and show that you are making regular payments to a open credit card.
Stop charging the credit cards you cannot afford. Cut down on your expenses in any way that you can, and use an alternative payment method, so you don’t end up reaching or overextending the limit on your credit card. Repay the balance of that card before you use it to buy additional items.
In order to maximize your personal finances, consider hiring a financial professional who can advise you about areas like investments and taxes if you can afford to do so. This’ll mean big savings in the long run, as someone who manages money matters for a living will not only be able to alert you to areas where you’re spending money unnecessarily, they’ll also have a much broader insight into investments as well.
Even in a world of online bank accounts, you should still be balancing your checkbook. It is so easy for things to get lost, or to not really know how much you have spent in any one month. Use your online checking information as a tool to sit down once a month and add up all your debits and credits the old fashioned way. You can catch errors and mistakes that are in your favor, as well as protect yourself from fraudulent charges and identity theft.
Take a look online and see what the average salary is for your profession and area. If you aren’t making as much money as you should be consider asking for a raise if you have been with the company for a year or more. The more you make the better your finances will be.
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.
Do not borrow from your 401K. Consider this the same as robbing yourself, because you are taking valuable money from your retirement account. While you are using the funds for something else, they cannot be in the market gaining interest. In addition, you are likely to pay high fees and taxes.
Make regular contributions to your savings account. It will provide you a buffer in case money should ever run short and you can use it as a line of your own personal credit. If you find something that you want to buy, take that money out of your savings and make payments to yourself to pay it back into the savings account.
If you have a parent or other relative with good credit, consider repairing your credit score by asking them to add you an authorized user on their card. This will immediately bump up your score, as it will show up on your report as an account in good standing. You don’t even actually have to use the card to gain a benefit from it.
Many people don’t learn good personal finance habits, and bear the consequences of their lack of knowledge later on. Now that you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to take control of your finances and get them in better shape. If you develop good finance habits now, they’ll last you for the rest of your life.