If you are one of the millions living paycheck to paycheck, taking control of your personal finances is absolutely necessary. This may mean learning to live in an entirely different way than you are used to. Follow the advice below to take control of your personal finances and ease the transition to the changes you must make.
If you have determined that your budget for a home mortgage is larger than your current rent payment, start putting that difference away each month. This will give you a real-world idea of what that cost does to your living expenses. It also helps you build up savings towards your down payment.
Make sure that you are collecting all of the tax credits to which you are entitled. Look out for the following tax credits: Child Care Credit, Child Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Earned Income Credit and Hope Scholarship Credit. Visit the IRS’s website for a complete list of tax credits that you may be eligible for.
For those individuals that have credit card debt, the best return on your money would be to minimize or pay off those credit card balances. Generally, credit card debt is the most expensive debt for any household, with some interest rates that exceed 20%. Start with the credit card that charges the most in interest, pay it off first, and set a goal to pay off all credit card debt.
Find your own financing when buying a car. You will have more negotiating power than if you are relying on the dealer and their banks to get you financed. They will try to talk to you into monthly payments rather than the actual cost of the car. If you already have your loan in place, you can concentrate on the cost of the car itself, because you already know what your payment would be.
If you are having trouble managing all of your bills because they are coming due at the same time, you may be able to rearrange your due-dates to make things easier for you. Contact your credit card company or utility company and ask them if you can change your due-date so you have more time between each bill.
If you and your spouse have a joint bank account and constantly argue about money, consider setting up separate bank accounts. By setting up separate bank accounts and assigning certain bills to each account, a lot of arguments can be avoided. Separate banks account also mean that you don’t have to justify any private, personal spending to your partner or spouse.
Flea markets can often be a productive way for one to supplement their personal finances. An individual can purchase goods for a cheaper price than they would pay in stores or they can sell items at the flea market for a financial gain. However a person wants to use them, flea markets are beneficial for personal finances.
Do not pick products just because they are expensive. It’s easy to get fooled into the idea that the more expensive the product the higher your commissions will be. The premise is accurate but in reality you can make a lot more from a more mid-range product due to the volume of sales you can receive.
Use an online tool to help you pay off your bills. The last few years have caused so many families to endure financial hardship, and the lesson is to avoid debt and pay of whatever debt you still have. Many new free online debt-paydown sites, such as Payoff.com, have popped up with easy-to-use interfaces for the myriads of people that do not want to spend hours entering their financial details into a complex program.
Be realistic when it comes to saving. Some people find it very easy to save money, others, not so much. If you’ve never been able to successfully save money in the past, don’t think that you will suddenly be able to save hundreds of dollars a month. Start small, and get used to the habit of putting aside an amount each month. Once you see it starting to grow, you can increase the amount of money that you save.
You will begin to feel a sense of fulfillment once you take control of your personal finances. The advice above will help you achieve your goals. You can get through the worst of financial times with a little bit of advice and sticking to your plan will assure success in the future.