Given the current state of the economy, people are doing everything they can to stretch their dollars. This is necessary to be able to make purchases for essential items, while still having a place to live. The following personal finance tips will help you to get the most out of the limited amount of money that you have.
Keep a daily checklist. Reward yourself when you’ve completed everything on the list for the week. Sometimes it’s easier to see what you have to do, than to rely on your memory. Whether it’s planning your meals for the week, prepping your snacks or simply making your bed, put it on your list.
Talk to different loan officers before you sign anything. Make sure to read over the lending contract very carefully to assure that you are not getting into a mortgage that has hidden charges, and that the terms of the loan are just as you and the lender had agreed to.
Even if you are young, start putting money regularly into a retirement account. A small investment at a young age can grow into a large sum by the time retirement comes around. When you are young, you have time on your side. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly your money will compound.
Loaning money to friends and family is something that you should not consider. When you loan money to someone that you are close to emotionally, you will be in a tough position when it is time to collect, especially if they do not have the money, due to financial issues.
Going to stores that are about to go out of business or be turned into a different store, can often produce items that can be bought at a greatly discounted price. Getting items you need or can resell at a higher price can both benefit your personal finances.
Keep a journal of expenses. Track every dollar you spend. This will help you figure out exactly where your money is going. This way, you can adjust your spending as needed. A journal will make you accountable to yourself for every purchase you make, as well as help you track your spending behavior over time.
Pay off high-rate credit cards from low-yield savings. Many credit cards charge 18% or more in annual interest, while some store cards charge as much as 24%. It makes sense to pay off those high-rate balances with any extra cash that you have sitting in low-yielding savings accounts. For instance, paying off a $1000, 18% credit-card balance from a 1%-yielding savings account would save you $170.
Diversify your investments using mutual funds. It’s difficult and expensive for a small investor to create a diversified portfolio using individual securities, but a no-load mutual fund can provide instant diversification at low cost. You can invest as little as $1000 in a fund that holds anywhere from 20 to several hundred securities, for an annual fee as low as 1%. Diversification helps to lower investment risk by reducing dependence on any one security to provide a favorable return.
The chances are high that your money will work harder, not in savings, bonds, stocks, etc. but in paying down your credit cards. Generally, credit card debt is the most punishing debt that households have. Credit card interest rates are now so high that paying your card debt is like putting money into a double-digit interest yielding, risk-free account.
As stated before, people are trying their hardest to make their money go further in today’s economy. It takes a lot of thought to decide what to spend money on and how to use it wisely. Luckily, the personal finance tips from this article will allow you to do just that.