Economic times are hard, and you’re not alone if you’re feeling the effects of the economy on your personal pocketbook. While financial problems can be devastating and worrying, they are not permanent. Below are tips to help guide you on personal financing so you can get out of debt and/or start planning for the future.
When renting a home with a boyfriend or girlfriend, never rent a place that you would not be able to afford on your own. There may be circumstances like losing a job or breaking up that might leave you in the position of paying the entire rent by yourself.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to take the “personal” out of “personal finance” by sharing your financial goals with others, such as close friends and family. They can offer encouragement and a boost to your determination in reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself, such as building a savings account, paying off credit card debts, or creating a vacation fund.
It is important to know who, where, what, when and how, about each agency that reports on your credit history. If you do not follow up with each reporter on your credit file, you could be leaving a mistaken account reference on your history, that could easily be taken care of with a phone call.
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.
If you are accustomed to paying your bills by mail, it is optimal to switch to online bill pay. Every bill that you send out by mail will cost you 40-50 cents with postage. Pay online so you do not have to worry about this fee in your daily and weekly expenses.
If you want to keep your credit score as high as possible, you should have between two and four credit cards in active use. Having at least two cards helps you establish a clear payment history, and if you’ve been paying them off it raises your score. Holding more than four cards at a time, however, makes it look like you’re trying to carry too much debt, and hurts your score.
One of the most important things a consumer can do in today’s economy is be financially smart about credit cards. In the past consumers were allowed to write off interest on their credit cards on their tax return. For some years now this has no longer been the case. For this reason, the most important habit consumers can have is pay off as much of their credit card balance as possible.
Do not rush out and buy the newest product on the market when it first comes out. You may find that waiting until they hype has died down can save you big money in the end. You may not be able to brag to your friends but you will have cash in your pocket!
Don’t let the economy get you down! Fight back by having a plan for your personal finances, debts, and future endeavors. The tips above will help you on your personal journey to a good financial situation. Once you are set up with a financial plan for the present, start planning for the future to avoid the stress of last minutes scrambling to pay debts.