If you have made some poor financial decisions in the past or gotten into some bad spending habits, the time to break and fix those is now. There is no time like the present to focus on your income, your spending and your debt. The ideas that follow are ways that you can start to regain some control.
Scheduling a long car journey for the right time of year can save the traveler a lot of time and money. In general, the height of summer is the busiest time on the roads. If the distance driver can make his or her trip during other seasons, he or she will encounter less traffic and lower gas prices.
When it comes to finances one of the most intelligent things to do is avoid credit card debt. Only spend the money if you actually have it. The typical ten percent interest rates on a credit card can cause charges to add up very quickly. If you find yourself already in debt, it is prudent to pay early and often overpay.
This is a time of considerable economic uncertainty, so it makes sense to save your money in several different places. Put some of your money into traditional checking and savings accounts, but also invest some in stocks, accounts yielding higher interest, and even gold. These tips are the best solution to maintain a positive financial situation.
Do not pay the full price for products if you are looking for ways to cut your expenses. This is not the time for brand loyalty. Buy items for which you have coupons. For example, if you normally buy one detergent but one has a $3 coupon, buy the one with the coupon.
To keep from draining your bank accounts, define a budget and stick to it. Estimate how much you spend every month on bills, groceries, travel expenses and entertainment. Allow very little leeway and put the rest of your paycheck in your savings account in case of emergencies that were not accounted for in your budget.
If you have consistently made your credit card payments on time for at least one whole year, you may have some leverage to negotiate more favorable terms, like a lowered interest rate or even a higher credit limit. Of course, only go for the second option if you have a real need to do so and can responsibly pay the added amount every month.
Do not overlook credit unions when you are looking for a place to open a checking or savings account. Credit unions usually offer higher interest rates and lower fees than commercial banks. However, the services offered and access to ATMs might be limited. Still, credit unions are a good alternative if you are looking for higher interest rates.
Avoid window shopping. If your personal finances are tight, or if you are trying to follow a strict budget, avoid window shopping, as it is likely to lead to impulse purchases. Think about whether you really need to make the purchase, and if possible, follow the 24-hour rule. Go home, and think about the item overnight. If you still believe it’s necessary, you won’t feel as guilty when you purchase it, as it’s no longer an ‘impulse’ buy.
Feeling like you are out of control in your own life is not a good way to live. Taking charge of your finances means that you need to really take a deeper look, find out what you have been doing and what you should be doing instead. This article has shown you how you can start to do just that.