If you are having difficulty with your personal finance, or you are simply looking for ways to help you manage your personal finance better, then this article is for you. My best personal financial guide can teach you to more effective in managing your finances regardless of their current state.
Organizing your personal finances can be an important part of your life. I have started taking care of mine so here is my best personal finance guide for my fellow super 50 and over.
You need to do all of your research so that you don’t wind up losing a ton of money or even losing out on expenses that you need to cover. There are some tips listed below to help you begin:
Here are a Few Tips for Starters
This is one of the most important things to do with personal finance. Write down everything you spend money on for one whole week or a pay cycle. This will force you to look at what you spend money on and perhaps reevaluate it. You can then see where you can cut back or spend more with.
To maximize the money in your wallet, try not to shop when you desperately need something. When you are in need, you are more prone to an impulse purchase, given your higher levels of stress and anxiety.
2. Opening a Bank Account
To make sure you are prepared for unexpected expenses, start putting money away in an emergency savings account. One of the easiest ways to do this is by scheduling automatic savings deposits to be taken out of each paycheck. Then, the next time you have an unplanned expense such as your car breaking down you will have the money on hand to cover it.
So if you plan to open a bank account think about what services you need from the account. Quite often banks charge fees for various services unless you keep a minimum balance. You will have to decide if keeping your money tied up in a minimum balance is worth the extra services.
Look for a high-yield savings account to make your money work for you. While many of these accounts do not yield the interest they did a few years ago, most of them do not require a minimum deposit and will give you a bit of return on your money. Additionally, they are more liquid than investments, making them a good place to stash your emergency fund.
Every household should have an emergency savings account. Every time you get a paycheck automatically put some aside for savings. This will help you if you ever find that you can not pay a bill or if you lose your job. Having the safety of an emergency savings account can ease anxiety in times of high financial stress.
3. Pay in Cash as Much as Possible
To really save yourself some money, pay for everything in cash. Cash does not bounce, and when it is in your wallet, you always know how much money you have. Save yourself trips to the ATM though, as fees can eat up your money. Instead, get cash back at stores.
So to avoid throwing your money away, pay in cash when you can and save your credit cards for real emergencies. It is all too easy to use credit cards all the time, but the interest on accumulating debt really adds up. In other words, when you buy things with your credit card when you do not have to, you are literally giving away your money.
4. Limit the Use of Credit Card
Credit card debt is a major problem around the world. Keep yourself out of debt by only using your credit card when you have money in the bank to spend. Alternatively, get a debit card instead of a credit card.
Do some research about tax deductions. There are many different items you can deduct: Any expense related to your job or business, some medical expenses, expenses linked to education or the profit you made from selling a home, for instance. Keep track of your finances and make sure you save your receipts and bills to do your taxes properly.
5. Embrace Frugal Living
One of the ways is to give up smoking, do you know how much it costs to maintain an active smoking lifestyle? This, of course, is not easy for many people. However, in addition to the money you save by not buying cigarettes, you will also save on health-related costs. Quitting smoking cuts down on your health insurance, life insurance and long-term medical expenses.
6. Sell Some of Your Belongings
Sell some of your belongings. This accomplishes two things. First, you are forced to take a look at what you have spent on items that you don’t really use. Hopefully, it will prevent you from buying frivolous items. Secondly, you can make some money on those items at a yard sale or through an online auction site.
7. Keep a Journal of Your 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 behaviour over time.
8. Shut the Car Off Whenever You Park
One of the ways that you can save money to improve your financial standing is to shut off the car when you are parked. Keeping your car running could waste gas, which rises in price every single day. Shut your car off any time that you can to save additional cash.
9. You Don’t Need a Brand New Car
One smart way to save money is to remember that you don’t need a brand-new car. Cars depreciate very quickly, and a used auto that’s just a few years old will cost you much less than a new one. Make sure you do your research and verify the reliability of a used car before you buy it, though.
10. Devise a Plan to Deal with Collection Agency
Have a plan for dealing with collection agencies and follow it. Do not engage in a war of words with a collection agent. Simply ask them to send you written information regarding your bill and you will research it and get back to them. Research the statute of limitations in your state for collections. You may be getting pushed to pay something you are no longer liable for.
11. Write Down Your Purchases in a Cheque Ledger
When writing checks or using your debit card, always write down your purchase in your check ledger. You don’t have to do your subtracting at the very moment you make the purchase, but do make note of it. Calculate your expenses at least once a day. In this way, you will never be overdrawn.
12. Monitor Your Accounts
Monitor your accounts for signs of identity theft. Purchases you don’t remember making or credit cards showing up that you don’t remember signing up for, could all be signs that someone is using your information. If there is any suspicious activity, make sure to report it to your bank for investigation.
13. Be patient When Buying Gadgets
You don’t have to buy a gadget the very minute it enters the market. Gadgets usually follow a pattern of having their price drop within a few months of being released. By waiting, you can buy your gadget at a lower price and save a substantial amount of money for the future.
14. Find Alternate Driving Routes
When it comes to driving, you could save a lot of money by finding shortcuts. Sitting in traffic or driving out of the way is just going to use up too much gas, and in turn, cost you large amounts of money. Check online maps to look for these shortcuts.
15. Travel Off-Seasons
If you frequently travel, you may want to travel in the off-season. Both hotels and airlines are usually cheaper when you by during the off-season. Typically, the off-season occurs in winter months, though this may not be the case if you are travelling to colder places, such as Canada or Alaska.
16. Do not Hesitate to Buy Second-hand Items.
Look for second-hand stores in your area: you should be able to get cheaper furniture and clothes, for instance. Do not assume that second-hand stores do not have any quality items for sale: take the time to look for the best products, and you could save a lot of money.
17. Stay Away from Credit Repair Offers sent to you Via Email
They promise the world, but they could easily just be a front for identify theft. You would be sending them all of the information they would need to steal your identity. Only work with credit repair agencies, in person, to be on the safe side.
18. Save money on Your Cell Phone Plans
A contract-free plan requires you to buy your phone up front, but you’ll save on monthly costs. If you want your phone at a discount, you’ll likely be locked into a plan for a couple of years. A contract option can also make more sense if you want to add other people on a family plan.
Your cell phone is an expense that can vary, depending on the frequency of use. If there are applications or programs that you do not use on your phone, cut these out immediately. Payments for services that you are not making use of, should be eliminated as soon as possible to reduce spending.
19. Save Money by Packing Your Lunch for Work
You can easily spend $10 to $15 per meal every time you go out for lunch. That can add up to a significant amount of money every month. If you pack your lunch, you would be surprised at how quickly you can save up for that big expense item.
20. Pay off Bills with Higher Interest First
Paying the minimums on a high-interest card can cost you hundreds of dollars more than it should. List out the interest rates of all the cards you have and pay off the highest ones as soon as possible.
21. Research Financial Institutions when Applying for a Home Loan
Banks are looking for people with good credit, a down payment, and people who have a verifiable income. Banks have been raising their standards due to the increase in mortgage defaults. If you have problems with your credit, try to have it repaired before you apply for a loan.
22. Set up Bills that can to be Directly Withdrawn from Your Checking Account.
This will assure that they are always paid on time as long as you have the available funds in your checking account that is needed to make these payments. It is easy to set up and will save a ton of time and money in late fees.
23. Look for Free Parking
Even though this may require you to walk a few extra blocks, it can save you up to 20 dollars during the night. Saving small amounts over time can really add up as they can be treated just like profits.
24. Pay off Your High-interest Debts Before Saving
If you are saving in an account that pays 5% but owes money on a card that charges 10%, you are losing money by not paying off that debt. Make it a priority to pay your high-interest cards off and then stop using them. Saving will become easier and more beneficial as well.
25 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.
As was discussed at the beginning of the article, improving your personal financial situation is important. It can give you peace of mind now, and a more secure future. The process of improving your personal finances is much easier when you have the right knowledge and information. Start making shrewd choices today, and you will be on your way to a better personal financial situation.
I am sure there are hundred of other ways to improve your personal finances.
Comment below leaving your best tips.