It takes a little time and effort to learn good personal finance habits. When considering next to the time and money that can be wasted through poor financial management, though, putting some work into personal finance education is a real bargain. This article gives some ideas that can help anyone manage their money better.
When paying down your debt avoid unnecessary expenses such as credit-monitoring services. You are able to attain a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies each year. Apply the extra cash to your debt instead of paying a third party company to monitor your credit report.
For those individuals that have credit card debt, the best return on your money would be to minimize or pay off those credit card balances. Generally, credit card debt is the most expensive debt for any household, with some interest rates that exceed 20%. Start with the credit card that charges the most in interest, pay it off first, and set a goal to pay off all credit card debt.
Make sure you are carrying cash or your debit card for small purchases. You do not want to have to put small purchases on your credit card and end up paying interest on them. Some merchants also put restrictions on purchases made with a credit card not allowing you to put under 10 dollars on it.
A great way to keep on top of your personal finance, is to set up a direct debit to be taken out of your paycheck each month. This means you’ll save without having to make the effort of putting money aside and you will be used to a slightly lower monthly budget. You won’t face the difficult choice of whether to spend the money in your account or save it.
You may be tired of hearing this, but you really should not live beyond your means. Using credit to get things that your income doesn’t allow for, now or in the future, will only get you into debt that you may not be able to handle. Avoid this by saving up for non-essential big-ticket items.
Pay off your items with the higher interest before focusing on the lower or no interest debt. Paying the minimums on a high interest card can cost you hundreds of dollars more than it should. List out the interest rates of all the cards you have and pay off the highest ones as soon as possible.
Teach children early about saving money. When giving them an allowance, encourage them to set aside a portion of it. Help them to determine not only long-term goals for their savings, such as college, but also some short-term goals, such as a new bicycle, or even ice cream. As they reap the benefits of saving for their short-term goals, they will begin to understand the importance of it, and it will motivate them toward their long-term goals.
It has to be said that taking care of personal finances rarely becomes fun. It can, however, get extremely satisfying. When better personal finance skills pay off directly in terms of money saved, the time invested in learning the subject feels well-spent. Personal finance education can even become an unending cycle. Learning a little helps you save a little; what will happen when you learn more?