With the economy going south these past few years, more and more people are having money problems. With a shaky economy it’s very important to have good personal finance habits. The tips in this article will help give you ways to better manage your personal finances and help you stay afloat in these turbulent times.
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.
Avoid eating out in general and save a lot of money. If you buy and cook your own fresh food, you’ll save money, feel better about yourself and be healthier because of it.
If at all possible, pay off your credit card balances in full. Only put as much as you can pay off on the credit card each month. It will show that you are a responsible borrower and it will increase your credit rating as well as make it easier to take out lines of credit in the future.
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.
Lots of families have lost their primary source of income due to lay-offs or medical issues. In these cases you might be late with your rent payment or might not even be able to pay it. Find out from the landlord how much time you have to bring your account current, or if he allows you to live in the apartment for the period covered by the security deposit.
Make sure you keep track of what you are spending. This will allow you to see exactly what you are spending your money on, and you will be able to see places where you can easily save some money. For example, instead of buying a $5.00 coffee, you can just make coffee and buy a travel mug.
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!
Put timers on your electrical lights. It is amazing how much leaving one or two unneeded lights burning in the house will inflate your electrical bill over time. Children, in particular, have problems remembering to turn lights off. In rooms like the bathroom, where time spent there is minimal, timers can really pay off.
In an economy where every penny counts, it’s important to know how to effectively manage your finances. The advice given in this article should give you some good starting points to managing your money and keeping your head above water financially. Some of these tips may not work for you, but hopefully at least a few of them gave you the information you needed to get you on the right track.