Learn how to budget from an early age. If you are just starting out, use the following advice to steer clear from a personal finance disaster. You may think you need that new car or expensive apartment yet a few simple tips can keep you out of debt. Following them may mean you have to give up a few things now, but remember you can enjoy them later!
Look at the fees before you invest your money. Brokers do collect a fee for their services, of course. These fees can take a big bite of your returns, though, if they are large. Steer clear of brokers who charge exorbitant commissions for their services or pile on lots of account management charges.
To improve your personal finance habits, make different categories for your various expenses. For instance, put fixed expenses such as rent or mortgage payments in one category. Variable expenditure, such as eating out, shopping, and credit card payments should be placed in a different category. This will help you prioritize expenses.
Take a little money out of each of your pay checks and put it into savings. You will never have any money left for savings if you choose to wait to see what is left on the last day of the month. Once the money is put in a separate account, it reduces the temptation to spend, since you’ve compartmentalized it in a way that makes it psychologically “less available.”
If you are having trouble with money, apply for a credit card at your local bank. Credit cards are very valuable as they allow you additional time to pay back the money that you owe and can go a long way in establishing a firm credit score for benefits in the future.
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.
If you have managed your finances well enough to own a home and have a retirement account, don’t jeopardize those by borrowing against them later. If you borrow against your home and can’t repay it, you could lose your home; the same is true for your retirement fund. Borrow against them only in dire situations.
A metal detector can be a fun and exciting way to get some extra valuables and contribute to your personal finances. A local beach can often be the best place for someone with a rented or owned metal detector, to find old coins or even valuable jewelery, that other people have lost.
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.
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.
Rebalance any investments that you may have. Stocks and bonds have had an overall good year, though cash yields are near zero. Look at your portfolio and make sure that you don’t need to move anything around so that you are earning more money. You should be doing this every year to help your portfolio.
If you don’t already have one, open a new flexible spending account. Besides, the money you put in this account will not be taxed.
Starting out on your own can be an exciting time and a time when personal finance issues can spiral out of control. Use the above tips to keep yourself in check so you do not end up racking up debt you will have to pay back for the rest of your life.