5 Action-Ideas To Manage Your Personal Finance

It’s unbelievable that schools does not teach us everything that we have to know but left out one important subject, that is Personal Finance Management. No wonder we see rising cases of people with bad debts and bad credit.

Here are 5 ideas to better manage your personal finance.

Build a savings account

Your money is something that you work very hard for. If you want to build a savings account for yourself, and for your family, you can do it – but perhaps a little slower than you might like. You can get started by saving all the change you get from shopping at the grocery store, from the gas station and from anywhere else you might go. Putting all this change into a container, you can then fill the container, day by day. As the container is full, roll the coins and deposit this money into your new savings account. You might be surprised, but in just two weeks it is possible you saved twenty dollars, or even one hundred dollars. Your savings account will grow, and you will be managing your money at the same time!

Paying bills on time

Paying your bills on time is going to be a something you need to make a habit for your entire life. Your credit report, your credit rating and your personal credit worthiness is going to depend on how often you are on time when paying your bills. Paying your bills on time is important for a solid financial future. As you pay bills on time, you are less likely to pay higher interest rates, you are not going to pay late fees, and you will build a good credit rating at the same time. To pay your bills on time, all the time, use a system that will have all your bills put into a pile in the same place. Put the bills that are due first on the top of the pile. Put the bills that are due at the end of the month in the bottom of the pile. Look at the pile every day, or at very least every other day. When you have the money, pay the bill on the top of the pile and work your way through all the bills for the month, and then you can start on the bills for next month!

Building good credit

To build good credit you want to pay your bills on time, and avoid paying those higher interest rates. If you have good credit, you want to keep it. What some people do not realize is that you can hurt your credit if you are moving often. Moving every month, moving every year, and moving more than needed it going to lower your credit score. If you live in the same house, the same apartment for over five years this is going to help your credit. Avoid moving when possible. Get a copy of your credit report; review the addresses that are listed for you. Remove addresses that are not applicable to where you have lived in the past.

Use coupons and save money

If you are not using coupons now, you should be. With the price of everything going up, and up, you need to learn to make your money ‘go further’. To make your money last longer, and to get more for your money seek out coupons for the goods and services that you always purchase. The secret to using coupons is this: don’t use, clip or keep coupons for items that you don’t usually use in your home. Coupons are enticing to get you to try other items, and sometimes can cost you even more money. Clip coupons from the Sunday paper, from the Internet online coupon sites, and look for coupons on the products you already purchase. This is going to give you the best savings possible, stretching out the money you have, and that you want to make last much longer for your household budget.

Money management involves working for a living

Money management is a budgetary thing, meaning you need to know how much money you have, and how much money you can spend. If you are spending more money than you are earning, you are most likely relying on your credit cards just way too much. If you are relying on your credit cards, your payments are going up and you will never pay off those credit cards. Money management involves your earning money, and spending the money you earn, and not more than that. If you need more money in your home budget, you can do a few things: get a new job with better pay, ask for a raise, get a second job, or build a business of your own. Relying on others for handouts, making minimums payments on credit cards you can’t afford, and living beyond your means is only going to come back to cause you trouble later in life.

Taking Care of Your Personal Finance

Taking responsibility for your personal finance has never been more important than it is now. The largest and supposedly strongest markets in the world are fighting to keep their heads above water, so it’s important for you to know and understand your exact financial status to weather the storm.

When it comes to personal finance, Don Taylor from Bankrate recommends that the first thing you need to do is identify your life goals and map out a financial plan that will help you to achieve them. This plan should be revisited on a semi-regular basis and adjusted as goals change. After which you need to determine where all of your money goes. This means you need to get to grips with your credit card spending, your casual spend, your accounts and any investments or annuities that you already own. Then draw up what Taylor calls a spending plan. He refers to a spending plan rather than a budget because “spending plan” sounds more positive and less like a monthly chore than budget.

Once your spending plan has been completed, you need to determine how much you can afford to spend on securing your future, i.e. investments, pension plans and retirement annuities. If you already have some money invested you should relook at them and possibly try to increase your monthly payments. But before you do anything on your own you need to consult a financial advisor; someone who will help you with your financial planning.

According to Taylor, financial plan needs to be comprehensive. It’s not a short term thing and needs to consider the bigger picture. It includes all of your insurance, employee benefits, taxes and investments and retirement and estate planning. At this stage you should also assess your risk tolerance. High-risk investments tend to have a high-yield, but, obviously the risk that you could lose almost everything is great. Low-risk investments, on the other hand, are relatively stable and safe, but they won’t net as much money. If you decide to go the safer route, Taylor recommends that you try to invest as much money as you can afford every month, so that your investment base is as high as possible.

And then, of course, you have to know your portfolio. Understand what it is that you have bought, know the risks, know the fees and most importantly, understand the implications of cancelling or surrendering your investment. Annuities can be particularly tricky cancel with an assortment of associated fees and penalties.

Personal Finance Tips For Graduates

To a young college student fresh out of school the world may seem rosy, but sooner or later they have to understand that many things are regulated by the finances we have. Till now their needs were fulfilled by their parents and it is time for them to understand they need to regulate and manage their finances so they do not fall into any sort of financial problems. Most of the college students today, opt for jobs at the entry level of their field of study. This article provides some valuable information about personal finance management for graduates.

Although entry level jobs do not pay much, it should not be a pretext for saving less. Plan a budget and stringently follow it, so that you can track your expenses and income. Plan wisely and invest in schemes that will give you good returns later.

You may love to splurge on expensive restaurants and alcohol, but keep in mind that even small amounts of saving that may seem negligible to you can do wonders later in life. So, skip the outing your with friends just one week a month and see for yourself how much you can save.

Using credit cards can seem like easy money coming your way, but do not avoid the payments and be lethargic in repaying your credit card bills. Mounting them will only lead to more troubles in the form of accumulated interest and even cause bad credit ratings for you.

Early in your job you can opt for car or home loans. Although it is a good option to invest in property while you are still young, remember that a huge loan can lead to personal bankruptcy. In case you feel that your loan amount has exceeded your limits or due to problems you have skipped on few payments. It will be a wise decision to negotiate with the credit organizations to deal for lower repayment process.

Planning Ahead With Personal Finances

The holidays are over and summer is upon us! it’s time to take hold of your life and get it back on track. Being serious about this now means you won’t be subject to grim news later, especially when it comes to matters pertaining to your personal finances. Reforming how you think about money is the key.

And maybe how you think about money means that you need to start thinking about it: what your relationship to money is, how you might have let expensive habits rule you, and how to work on using willpower to get you out of debt. Once you’ve figured these things out, you’ll be on your way to a successful relationship with your budget.

First, consider the kind of relationship you have to money. Just like a motive is important in solving a whodunit, so is this step vital to solving your financial woes. Any doctor could tell you that identifying a symptom is the first step to establishing a cure. So: do you burn through your paycheck as soon as it arrives, rushing off to get the latest fashion or the just-released game or the updated electronic device?

Or are you a hoarder, too scared to part with a nickel more than you have to? You may wonder, what’s wrong with that? At least my spending isn’t out of control. But fear, when it comes to financial matters, can be just as destructive as ignorance. Either way, you’re letting the money dictate to you instead of vice-versa.

Once you’ve thought about taking emotion out of your relationship with money, turn your attention to the practical. Take pen and paper and a cold hard look at your monthly expenditures. What is your greatest extravagance? New shoes, dining out, expensive coffee drinks, video games? Be honest. Check your debit and credit card statements. Note not only where, but when, you’re prone to spend the most money.

Now challenge yourself to drop one of those pricey habits for the New Year. That’s not depriving yourself of every pleasure; just one. And the boost to your bank balance will be immediately obvious. Frequent trips to the espresso shop can average out to five dollars a day, which adds up to over one hundred dollars a month. That’s on something you could make at home, and probably better.

Finally, take that new savings and start paying down those debts you acquired last year, most especially for the holidays. This reduces the principal, and as that balance goes down, so too does the interest you owe. And interest is the “silent killer” of the budget. Even if you bought that shirt for 50% off, it doesn’t turn out to be such a bargain sitting on a store card that charges 23% for unpaid balances.

It’s not as hard as you imagine, getting control of your personal finances. All it takes is re-evaluating your relationship to money – and adjusting your thinking accordingly. From that practical vein you can proceed to cutting out an extravagance and funneling that extra cash into paying down your debt.

Four Personal Finance Programs You Can Use Free

It is time to get your finances into order. You work too hard for your money to handle it loosely. It is important to manage your budget properly. I know this does not sound like fun and that is before I tell you it is easier said than done. Back in the “old” days you had to either track your spending by tediously making entries in a paper ledger or investing in expensive software and making tedious entries in the computer.

Fortunately, times have changed and technology has come a long way towards making budgeting, if not fun at least easy. There are several remarkable no cost programs that can help you establish and monitor a budget. If the thought of budgeting is enough to send you into shock, do not panic yet. Certainly disciplined spending can be a real pain! However, if you want to enjoy financial success a budget is a necessity. These programs can show you exactly where your money is going. And they will help you spend your money more wisely.

My personal favorite is Mint.com. Mint is brought to us by the makers of Quicken and provides “At-a-glance insights.” This service will download and categorize your balances and transactions automatically every day- making it effortless to see graphs of your spending, income, balances, and net worth.

SimpleD Budget – If you need help establishing a budget, try downloading SimpleD Budget. This program will help you sort out your monthly income and expenses. It is good for creating a personal or household budget. Once you have entered your monthly income, you can allocate it across a number of categories such as bills, savings, entertainment and more. Finally, you can track your spending through the program and monitor how closely you are meeting your goals.

GnuCash – Maybe you want to manage all of your expenses. With this program, as with mint.com, you can track several checking and savings accounts. You can also keep on top of loans, stocks and mutual funds. This program can be labor intensive. But it is also incredibly useful. All of your financial information is compiled into reports and balance sheets with the push of a button.

This program can give you a real snap shot of your financial situation. But it does require some serious work. Just like in the old days, you will be entering a lot of data, especially when getting started. So, this program is a good fit for advanced users or those who do not want to bank online.

AceMoney Lite – This program lets you track a single bank account in detail. It is a toned down version of a more complete program (that costs money). With the free version you can watch all the activity on one account. And you will be able to generate monthly and yearly income and expense reports. It does have all the features the full version, however it is limited to one account. AceMoney Lite will assist you in organizing and managing your personal finances quickly and easily. It also supports all the functions required for home and small-business accounting needs.

I am sure there are more programs available, but these are the ones I am familiar with. Now all you need to do is take a look, choose one, and get that budget set up. You will soon be on your way to a less stressful relationship with your money. By understanding your current financial situation, making financial changes, and following a budget, you will be in a strong position to repay your debts in the most efficient manner and start building financial reserves for your future.