Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out just where all your money goes. Little purchases can add up fast, and if you’re already in bad financial shape, they can take your situation from bad to worse. That’s why it’s important to develop good personal finance habits. Keep reading to learn money advice from Knowledge First Financial anyone can use.
Your car, as well as your home, are the two biggest purchases that you will make. Payments on principal and interest for these items are sure to take the biggest chunk out of your monthly income. Try to get the balance down by at least sending in one additional payment every year or applying some of your tax return money to the balance.
If your bank charges high monthly fees just for the privilege of keeping a checking account, consider switching to a credit union. Most people are eligible for credit union membership based on where they live or work or organizations they belong to. Because credit unions are member-owned, they do not have to make profits like banks do and so they generally offer much better deals.
If you want your child to have a good grasp on the value of money and on the particulars of managing their finances, start them off with an allowance early. Having a child earn their allowance through chores is a good way to help them learn that hard work pays off.
The opportunity to sign up for a direct deposit program should always be taken. Not only does direct deposit save the consumer time in trips to the bank, it usually saves him or her money, too. Most banks will waive certain monthly fees or offer other incentives to encourage their customers to take advantage of direct deposit.
Involving the whole family is an excellent way for one to accomplish many different things. Not only will every family member get valuable practice managing their money but the family will be able to communicate and work together to save for high cost purchases that they would want to make.
If you rely on credit cards to make most of your purchases, or for multiple high-dollar expenditures, consider having the balance transferred to a credit card with lower interest rates. This is especially helpful for those who plan to continue using their cards for a considerable period of time in the future.
Always have an emergency fund equal to three to six months of living expenses, in case of unexpected job loss or other emergency. Even though interest rates on savings accounts are currently very low, you should still keep an emergency fund, preferably in a federally insured deposit account, for both protection and peace of mind.
Contribute to a retirement account and plan for the future! You want to have a nest egg so that you are not living on social security in your old age and you have something to leave your children and love ones. Give what you can to your retirement and if possible see if your employer has any retirement benefits or accounts available.
Do some research online before making a major purchase. Even if you plan to buy the item at a local retailer, check the store’s website for web-only coupons or special offers. If you’re already a customer, don’t forget to check your inbox because some retailers send sales announcements or coupons via e-mail.
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.
Don’t lie to your spouse about your spending. Not only is it bad for your marriage, it’ll mess with your finances. For instance, your spouse may be seriously considering buying a new car or taking a trip. Those thoughts could be dashed because of your covert spending. Come clean to minimize the damage.
Many people don’t learn good personal finance habits, and bear the consequences of their lack of knowledge later on. Now that you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to take control of your finances and get them in better shape. If you develop good finance habits now, they’ll last you for the rest of your life.