Most people would agree that without a great grounding in the realm of personal finance, life is bound to be a difficult journey. In order to prepare yourself for the adventure, it is essential to gather as much knowledge as you can on matters of money. Take the following ideas and tips to heart, and you will be well on your way to attaining expert status.
Get a rewards credit card. No-fee reward cards are the best if you need a credit card. Reward cards give you rewards on various things that you typically use such as hotel rooms, airline tickets and store rewards. Be sure you pay the card off every month and pay on time to avoid interest and late fees.
Always look for ways to save. Audit yourself and your bills about once every six months. Take a look at competing businesses for services you use, to see if you can get something for less. Compare the cost of food at different stores, and make sure you are getting the best interest rates on your credit cards and savings accounts.
Pay off your items with the higher interest before focusing on the lower or no interest debt. Paying the minimums on a high interest card can cost you hundreds of dollars more than it should. List out the interest rates of all the cards you have and pay off the highest ones as soon as possible.
Create a budget – and stick to it. Make a note of your spending habits over the course of a month. Track where every penny goes so you can figure out where you need to cut back. Once your budget is set for the month, if you find you spend less than planned, use the extra money to pay down your debt.
Sit down and add up all the money that you have coming in to the house each month. Then sit down and add up the amount that your monthly bills cost. Subtract the money you spend on your bills from your monthly income. The number you come up with is the amount of money you have to spend on everything else – food, clothing, medicine, luxury items, etc. Don’t go over this amount. This will insure that you have enough money to pay all of your bills and aren’t spending more than you’re earning.
Always mail your payment for your power bill so that it arrives by the due date. If you pay late or miss payments, you may hurt your credit score. You will also probably get hit with late charges, adding to your bill. It’s not worth it to pay more for being late, so try paying bills on time.
Write your budget down if you want to stick to it. There is something very concrete about writing something down. It makes your income versus spending very real and helps you to see the benefits of saving money. Evaluate your budget monthly to make sure it’s working for you and that you really are sticking to it.
Find out if you will get a discount for making your payments automatically. Many times if you mail your payment you will be charged as much as $5.00 per month. You may find that there is a nice discount for you if you set up an automatic payment through your checking account or credit card.
Without thorough knowledge and understanding of matters pertaining to personal finance, life can be challenging indeed. To ready help yourself for any eventuality, acquiring a strong body of information is the key. By using the concepts and guidance contained above; you will have the equipment needed to build a durable financial future.