Managing personal finances is imperative for any adult, especially those with children or other dependents. Learning how to create budgets and strict shopping lists will let you make the most of your income. Remember the tips in this article, so that you don’t find yourself overwhelmed with a pile of debt.
If you have lost a prior home to foreclosure, this does not mean that you are out of home owning altogether. You should be able to get a government-backed mortgage through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA, in as little as three years after your previous home has foreclosed.
If you have a good credit score, be careful about co-signing for someone, especially if they have a bad score or are not likely to pay off their debt. Co-signing does not improve your own score in any way and puts a lot of pressure on you. Do it if you are sure that the person you are co-signing for can do the same for you.
Energy management is the best way to save your family money during the year. By making some simple changes you will find a good bit of savings on your utility bill each month. The quickest, easiest and most affordable way to start saving is by replacing your light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.
Familiarize yourself with the fine print of surcharges and fees associated with your credit card payments. Most credit card companies assign a hefty $39 and up fee for exceeding your credit limit by even one dollar. Others charge up to $35 for payments that are received only a minute after the due date.
To keep your personal finances stress free and friendly, try and have a personal contact at any establishment that handles your money. From a favorite teller at your bank to a particular customer service rep at your insurance company, dealing with money feels a lot friendlier (and better) when you see people’s faces and think of their names instead of feeling like you’re dealing with heartless, greedy corporations.
Start repaying existing debt and stop incurring new debts. It can be quite easy once you get into the right habits. Eliminate debt one step at a time, and don’t apply for any new credit. In time with a solid approach, you will have less financial stress.
Rebalance your portfolio yearly. Doing so can ensure that you invest in things that fit your risk and goal profile. You can also take this opportunities to sell stocks that have increased in value and buy stocks that you think will rise this year.
Create an up to date financial plan. This will allow you to see how you are doing in all areas of your finances. Review any insurance plans, income taxes, estate and retirement planning, investments, savings and current debts. Be specific in your goals and be realistic. For more complex financial planning, it is a good idea to seek the services of a CPA.
Writing down a budget is vital to managing your personal finances. To start, list all your expenses in one column for the entire month. Be certain to include any living expenses, such as mortgage payments, electricity, car payments, cell phones, groceries and other regular payments. Don’t forget bills that aren’t paid each month. These may include auto insurance, property taxes or propane costs. You can get an approximate monthly payment for these by averaging the previous year’s cost. Once you have written all of your expenses down, figure out the total and compare that to your total income for the month. It’s important that your income is larger than your expenses.
If you are trying to improve your finances one of the very first steps you should take is to pay down any credit cards that have a high rate of interest, focusing on the highest balance at the highest interest first. This will free up money in your monthly budget the quickest.
Avoid getting calls from debt collectors or angry friends to whom you owe money by learning how to manage your personal finances wisely. It’s important to track how you spend your money each month, so that you can realize where you are spending too much. Remember these tips to keep your account in the black.