Getting your personal finances in order can be quite a challenge. Habits are hard to break and purchases are hard to resist but personal financial order is a necessary part of both short and long term success. So read on for some useful advice and tips on getting your personal finances in good shape!
Don’t take out large amounts of student loan debt unless you expect to be in a financial situation to pay it back. Going to an expensive private school while unsure of your major or what career path you’re going to take, may mean that you end up in permanent debt.
Sell everything you can to generate more money to work your way out of debt. Do you have a non-essential vehicle that could be sold to eliminate the monthly payment on it or, if you own it free and clear, to generate money to pay other debts? How about jewelry or pricey electronics? Get debt free!
Learn to be selective in what you want to spend money on. Obviously, if you spend money on something, you will have less to spend on other things. It may help to carry a copy of your budget with you. You can do this on most cell phones. Taking a quick look at your budget can save you from splurging on unimportant items. It helps you become disciplined in how you spend your limited resources.
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.
Not only are older appliances less efficient at performing their job, but they can also be a significant drain on your monthly energy consumption. Newer high-efficiency models are a wise investment that can save you money and ensure that your home is a safe environment in which your family can eat, live, and play. Replace microwaves every decade, washers and dryers in every thirteen years, and stoves and ovens every fifteen years.
Check your credit at least yearly. The government provides free credit reports for its citizens every year. You can also get a free credit report if you are declined credit. Keeping track of your credit will allow you to see if there are incorrect debts or if someone has stolen your identity.
To avoid surprise deductions from your checking account, access your account online at least once a month. Scroll back through the previous month and make note of all the recurring automatic deductions from your account. Go ahead and deduct those in your check ledger now – even if it puts you in a negative balance. The money won’t be gone until the debit is posted, but you will know not to spend money on unnecessary items until you have built up enough of a balance to cover your recurring automatic debits.
Most people need some help in sorting out their personal finances at one point or another in their lives and hopefully this article has provided you with valuable tips on how you can do just that, starting today. Personal financial health is vital to a happier and less stressful living and with the right advice, you can be on your way to it!