Keeping your personal finances in order is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you and your family avoid unnecessary trouble. Fortunately, doing so doesn’t have to be a chore or an ordeal. This article will give you some tips that will make keeping track of your personal finances a breeze.
Avoid thinking that you cannot afford to save up for an emergency fund because you barely have enough to meet daily expenses. The truth is that you cannot afford not to have one. An emergency fund can save you if you ever lose your current source of income. Even saving a little every month for emergencies can add up to a helpful amount when you need it.
When you are saving for an emergency fund, aim for at least three to six months worth of living expenses. This is not a large amount, considering the difficulty in finding employment if you ever lose your job. In fact, the larger the emergency fund, the better position you would be in to ride out any unforeseen financial catastrophes.
Extended warranties can bring down your personal finance. Just about every product made, comes with a warranty that lasts for 90 days or even up to a year. This is when the components are most likely to break. By purchasing an extended warranty, you could potentially just be throwing money away. This is especially true with electronics because they improve so rapidly, that you will end up buying a new one, before the warranty is up.
If you live close to work, consider biking or walking to reduce gas expenditure, which will improve your personal finances a little. With fuel prices on the continuous rise, anytime that you can avoid using the car you will save. While some trips are necessary in the car, the shorter routes you can walk are often the ones you have the most stop and go. Cut the car out of the equation on these and watch your balance rise.
Get a high yield savings account. Your rainy day funds or emergency savings should be stored in a savings account with the highest interest rate you can find. Do not use CD’s or other term savings which would penalize you for taking your money out early. These accounts need to be liquid in case you need to use them for emergencies.
If you are fortunate enough to have any extra money in your checking account, be wise and don’t leave it there. Even if it’s only a few hundred bucks and only a one percent interest rate, at least it is in a traditional savings account working for you. Some people have a thousand or more dollars sitting in interest free accounts. This is simply unwise.
Coffee is something that you should try to minimize in the morning as much as possible. Purchasing coffee at one of the most popular stores can set you back 5-10 dollars per day, depending on your purchasing frequency. Instead, drink a glass of water or munch on fruit to give you the energy you require.
Contact your credit card company and have them lower the limit on your credit card. This helps you two fold. First, it keeps you from overextending yourself and spending more than you should. Second, it sends a message to the credit card company that you’re being responsible by making sure you can’t overextend yourself.
Make sure to adequately shop around for better financing. When dealing with loan officers email them questions and concerns and try and get as much of their responses in writing as you can as loan officers often change terms of finance deals all the time to get you to pay more than you have to.
One of the best ways to stretch your budget is to stop smoking cigarettes. Who can afford to pay almost the equivalent of the minimum hourly wage for a pack of cigarettes that you will go through in less than day? Save that money! Stop smoking and you’ll save even more money in long term health expenses!
Maintaining your personal finances is very important, so don’t neglect your education on this matter. By keeping your financial house in order, you will be able to avoid many common pitfalls and difficulties that too many people encounter. The advice you’ve learned in this article will help you stay on a smooth road to financial prosperity.