Basic personal finance management doesn’t require advanced expertise. A bit of common sense combined with some proven techniques will let you save money while building wealth.
To avoid debt, you should keep your credit balance as low as possible. You might be tempted to accept the offer you qualify for, but you should borrow only as much money as you actually need. Spend some time to determine this exact amount before you accept a loan offer.
Start building up an emergency fund today. In an ideal world you should have at least three months, preferable six months, living expenses stored away. Put it in an easy access, high interest savings account. If you don’t have any money saved, remember that it is never too late to start saving.
The envelope system is a tried and true budgeting technique that can work well for those who have a hard time staying within their budget. Cash out your paycheck at each pay period and put a predetermined amount of cash into each envelope for each line on your budget. You can then only spend the cash that you have for each item. It prevents you from overspending as you have a visual for what is left.
If you don’t already have one, open an IRA. You can contribute catch-up funds anytime throughout the year to get your maximum interest. This is also tax deductible. So, if you need to find a few more ways to raise those deduction amounts, it’s better to pay yourself, than uncle Sam.
You can get some extra money from a yard or garage sale! If one is also good at working with people they can talk neighbors into letting them sell some of their old items for a nominal fee. Garage sales offer limitless opportunities for creativity.
To put yourself in a better financial position, find all of the products that you have lying around the house, which you do not need. Sort these items and sell them on EBay. This online marketplace is fantastic for making a couple hundred dollars with items that you do not use anymore.
If you have multiple credit cards, get rid of all but one. The more cards you have, the harder it is to stay on top of paying them back. Also, the more credit cards you have, the easier it is to spend more than you’re earning, getting yourself stuck in a hole of debt.
Keep track of your actions, and of whether they were successful or not. Go back over your notes and think about how you could have avoided a failure, or realize what you did right. Consider yourself as a student who constantly has to learn new things in order to improve.
If offered by your company, consider signing up for a cafeteria plan for your health care costs. These plans allow you to set aside a regular amount of money into an account specifically to use for your medical expenses. The benefit is that this money comes out of your account pretax which will lower your adjusted gross income saving you some money come tax time. You can use these benefits for copays, prescriptions, deductibles and even some over the counter medications.
Giving to charity, can help you reduce your tax liability and it is also a very selfless thing to do! You can get tax credits for donating and save yourself money. Look into the best charities and give to a organization that you really care about! Feel good about saving money!
Clearly, it is possible for anyone to increase his or her net worth, live within his or her means and enjoy the pleasant financial life he or she craves. A little common sense and following some of the tips above will help you live within a budget, lower your debt, and build wealth. You can be the master of your personal finances!