Getting your personal finances in order and keeping them that way is an important skill – perhaps a more important one now than ever. Between the high-powered financial options anyone can take advantage of and the time-saving shortcuts anyone can abuse, it is all too easy to lose control of your money. Here are some basic tips about hanging on to your personal financial reins.
Being patient about your finances will help you. It is very commonplace for people to purchase the latest electronic gadget the first day it is released to the public. However, if you have the patience to wait a while before purchasing, the price may drop significantly. This will save you money in the long run.
A good rule of thumb for savings, is to put away 10% of your income each payday into a savings account. Make sure that you don’t have a debit or credit card linked to this account, as it is too tempting to spend it if you find something you can’t seem to live without.
The frequent flier program is absolutely ideal for anyone who flies often and enjoys saving money or receiving free rewards. Most credit card companies will offer incentives and rewards toward free airfare. Some hotels will also redeem frequent flier miles. They can be cashed in for discounted stays, or even free lodging.
If you save your change from cash purchases, it can accrue over time to a nice chunk of money, that you can use to supplement your personal finances anyway you want. It can be used for something that you have been wanting but couldn’t afford, such as a new guitar or if you want to make it work for you, it can be invested.
Use kitchen scrubbies as substitutes for expensive aquarium filters. Get the flat fibrous kind and make sure they aren’t treated with any kind of toxic chemicals or impregnated with soap. Cut them to the size of an old aquarium filter and slip them right down into your pump. They work great and save you lots of money!
To keep your personal finances stress free and friendly, try and have a personal contact at any establishment that handles your money. From a favorite teller at your bank to a particular customer service rep at your insurance company, dealing with money feels a lot friendlier (and better) when you see people’s faces and think of their names instead of feeling like you’re dealing with heartless, greedy corporations.
Social Security, which is an earned benefit (you pay into it), is now being tarred as an “entitlement,” just to give you a clue about what’s to come. Prepare for the worst and assume that psychopathic politicians will steal your Social Security. If your job offers a 401k, max it out.
If you want to perfectly manage your personal finances one of the simple things that you need to take into account are opportunity costs. There are things that you might not be paying for directly, but giving up the chance to make money is a cost to it in itself.
Don’t get whacked by insane ATM fees. If you use an ATM that is not run by your bank, you may find that you are actually charged two fees: an “access” fee from the bank that runs the ATM, and an “out-of-network ATM” fee from your own bank. Added together, these fees can exceed $5.
Gaining control of your finances is not just economically prudent. It can be a source of great personal satisfaction and even pride. Using methods like those outlined above, you can keep a tight leash on your personal finances and bring your money to heel. Personal finance is all about making your money behave the way you want it to.