Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out just where all your money goes. Little purchases can add up fast, and if you’re already in bad financial shape, they can take your situation from bad to worse. That’s why it’s important to develop good personal finance habits. Keep reading to learn money advice anyone can use.
If you are planning a major trip, consider opening a new credit card to finance it that offers rewards. Many travel cards are even affiliated with a hotel chain or airline, meaning that you get extra bonuses for using those companies. The rewards you rack up can cover a hotel stay or even an entire domestic flight.
Make sure that you are collecting all of the tax credits to which you are entitled. Look out for the following tax credits: Child Care Credit, Child Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Earned Income Credit and Hope Scholarship Credit. Visit the IRS’s website for a complete list of tax credits that you may be eligible for.
Having a garage sale is a great way to make some spending money and also rid the house of clutter. One could ask neighbors if they can sell their items for a small percentage of the sale cost. With a little creativity, your sale can be the talk of the town!
Having a savings plan is important, so always plan for a rainy day. You should strive to have enough money in the bank to cover your essential bills for six months. Should you lose your job, or run into an emergency situation, the extra money will get you through.
To keep from draining your bank accounts, define a budget and stick to it. Estimate how much you spend every month on bills, groceries, travel expenses and entertainment. Allow very little leeway and put the rest of your paycheck in your savings account in case of emergencies that were not accounted for in your budget.
To maximize the money in your wallet, try not to shop on an empty stomach. When you are hungry, you are more prone to an impulse purchase, given your higher levels of stress and anxiety. Additionally, you will usually spend money on fast food, which will add up over time.
Dining out is something that you should do occasionally but it can really take a toll on your bank account over time. If you go out to eat more than one time a week, you will slowly begin to see your savings decline. Limit eating at restaurants to maximize the balance of your bank account.
Get a checking account that is free. Paying fees to access your money can cost you quite a bit in the long run. Many banks are doing away with free accounts, but a little leg work will help you find what you are looking for. Avoid losing hundreds of dollars to fees every year.
Pay off your high interest debts before saving. If you are saving in an account that pays 5%, but owe money on a card that charges 10%, you are losing money by not paying off that debt. Make it a priority to pay your high interest cards off and then stop using them. Saving will become easier and more beneficial as well.
Set up an automatic payment with your credit card companies. In many cases you can set up your account to be paid directly from your checking account each month. You can set it up to just pay the minimum balance or you can pay more automatically. Be sure to keep enough funds in your checking account to pay these bills.
Many people don’t learn good personal finance habits, and bear the consequences of their lack of knowledge later on. Now that you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to take control of your finances and get them in better shape. If you develop good finance habits now, they’ll last you for the rest of your life.