Do you know the best ways to balance your personal finances, and use your income to its best advantage? It is often easy to live outside an individual’s means and fall prey to the paycheck-to-paycheck syndrome. You don’t have to suffer through this anymore, if you make some changes, like the tips presented here, and keep balance in mind.
Going out to eat is one of the costliest budget busting blunders many people make. At a cost of roughly eight to ten dollars per meal it is nearly four times more expensive than preparing a meal for yourself at home. As such one of the easiest ways to save money is to stop eating out.
Do not fall for scams promising you a better credit score by changing your report. Often, companies will make sweeping promises about what they can do to help you with your credit. But what worked for someone else may have no bearing on your credit issues. As such, 100% guaranteed results are straight-up fraud.
When working with any personal finance company, watch out for scammers. As a general rule of thumb, if any offer sounds too good to be true then it usually is. Just read all of the fine print in the contracts, and if they do not offer any contract at all completely avoid their deals or promotions.
If you are currently paying for your checking account, it’s time to find a new one. Banks compete for your business, and so many offer free checking with amenities and services similar to those you used to have to pay for. Shop around and find one that won’t charge you on a monthly basis.
Budget, budget, budget – yes, whatever you do, make a budget. The only way to know what is coming in and what is going out is with a budget and a ledger. Whether it’s with pen and paper or a computer program, sit down and get it done. Your finances will thank you for it.
If you are out of school, go ahead and get your various student loans consolidated into one account. You will be able to combine multiple loans into one fixed interest rate and you will avoid having to remember to pay multiple lenders and accounts each month. Shop around for the best interest rate before choosing a lender.
Maintain at least two different bank accounts to help structure your finances. One account should be dedicated to your income and fixed and variable expenses. The other account should be used only for monthly savings, which should be spent only for emergencies or planned expenses.
After you finish a meal with your family, do not throw away the leftovers. Instead, wrap these up and use this food as part of a meal the next day or as a snack during the night. Conserving every piece of food is very important in reducing your grocery costs each month.
Unless it’s an actual emergency, stay away from the ER. Make sure and locate urgent care centers in your area that you can go to for after hours issues. An ER visit co-pay is usually double the cost of going to your doctor or to an urgent care clinic. Avoid the higher cost but in a true emergency head straight to the ER.
Buying precious metals such as silver or gold can be a good way to earn extra money for ones personal finance. Such metals can hold their value better than other commodities that are available to invest in. Gold and silver will often provide one with a solid investment for them.
Diversify your investments using mutual funds. It’s difficult and expensive for a small investor to create a diversified portfolio using individual securities, but a no-load mutual fund can provide instant diversification at low cost. You can invest as little as $1000 in a fund that holds anywhere from 20 to several hundred securities, for an annual fee as low as 1%. Diversification helps to lower investment risk by reducing dependence on any one security to provide a favorable return.
Your paycheck doesn’t have to be something you wait for each week. This article has laid out some good advice for handling your finances, provided you take the right steps and follow through. Don’t let your life revolve around payday, when there are so many other days you could be enjoying.