During difficult economic times, intelligently managing your personal finances can mean the difference between living comfortably, and losing your home or being forced to file for bankruptcy protection. This article was written with the average person in mind. It is designed to help you improve your financial situation by teaching you to intelligently manage your personal finances.
Be careful not to make any long distance calls while traveling. Most cellphones have free roaming these days. Even if you are sure your cellphone has free roaming, read the fine print. Make sure you are aware of what “free roaming” entails. Similarly, be careful about making calls at all in hotel rooms.
In order to avoid personal finance disasters, make sure you have at least three months equivalent of your salary in the bank. This will mean that if you do run into difficulties, for instance losing your job or facing other unexpected expenses like house or car repairs, you’ll be able to cover the cost.
Stay away from credit repair offers sent to you via email. They promise the world, but they could easily just be a front for identify theft. You would be sending them all of the information they would need to steal your identity. Only work with credit repair agencies, in person, to be on the safe side.
One of the best ways to start saving is to get an old-fashioned piggy bank. Get a big plastic one that cannot be opened. Put all your change in your piggy bank and if you find money or get money as a gift, put half of it in the piggy bank. When the piggy bank is full, cut it open. You will have a great start to a savings account.
To improve your personal finance habits, maintain a target amount that you put each week or month towards your goal. Be sure that your target amount is a quantity you can afford to save on a regular basis. Disciplined saving is what will allow you to save the money for your dream vacation or retirement.
Do not charge more each month than you can pay when the bill comes in. The interest adds up if you only pay the minimum balance, and you can end up paying much more for your purchase in the end than if you had simply used your own money to buy it outright. Bonuses such as airline miles or even rebates seldom make up for the additional expense.
Automatic bill payments should be reviewed quarterly. Most consumers are taking advantage of many of the automatic financial systems available that pay bills, deposit checks and pay off debts on their own. This does save time, but the process leaves a door wide open for abuse. Not only should all financial activity be reviewed monthly, the canny consumer will review his automatic payment arrangements very closely every three to four months, to ensure they are still doing exactly what he wants them to.
Remember, intelligently managing your personal finances is the key to wealth and security. In an economic downturn, being careless or foolish with your money can have grave consequences. Carefully read the tips in this article, and apply what you learn to your own personal financial situation. By doing so, you can protect yourself from financial ruin.