Personal financial success can be influenced by our ability to pay attention to how we handle money. The following article recommends little habits we can all do routinely to start thinking about where our money is coming from and where it’s going. The best part about these suggestions is that they don’t require daily attention. Some of these steps can be implemented in a few minutes a month.
To stay on top of your money, create a budget and stick to it. Write down your income and your bills and decide what needs to be paid and when. You can easily create and use a budget with either pen and paper or by using a computer program.
Make sure to always pay yourself first. You should be putting at least 10% of your pre-tax income into a savings account. This is the money that is going to keep you from losing the house during an emergency. Do not skip on it and do not forget about it.
Consider having a savings account that automatically debits from your paycheck each month. One of the hardest parts of saving is getting into the habit of saving and having it taken out automatically, removes this step. Also, automatically refilling your savings account means that it won’t be depleted if you do need to dip into it for any type of emergencies, especially if it’s more than once.
If your finances are such that you can’t afford to put a sizeable down payment on a new car, you can’t afford that car. Cars depreciate extremely quickly, and unless you make a large payment up-front, you will end up upside-down on that loan. Owing more than the worth of your car makes it difficult to sell the car and can put you in a bad position if the car were to be wrecked.
Car maintenance is essential in keeping your costs low during the year. Make sure that you keep your tires inflated at all times to maintain the proper control. Running a car on flat tires can increase your chance for an accident, putting you at high risk for losing a lot of money.
When you go to meet a landlord for the first time, dress the same way that you would if you were going to a job interview. Essentially, you have to impress your landlord, so showing him or her, that you are well put together, will only serve to make them impressed by you.
To save money, instead of going to the movies, consider renting one. By renting a movie instead of going to a theater, you are saving gas, you do not have to pay ridiculous prices at the concession stand, and you do not have to buy a ticket. Many cable providers even allow you to purchase a movie from your TV for a small price.
Open an emergency savings account and make regular deposits from your paychecks. It is even better to ask your employer to deposit a certain amount of money directly to your savings account. You won’t miss the money you don’t see on your regular checking account and the regular deposits ensure a substantial savings in the foreseeable future.
Think of your retirement while you can still help yourself. Open a 401(k) or Roth 401(k) retirement plan or an IRA account to save money for your retirement years. Take advantage of your employer’s contribution as well, even if it is a smaller amount, it still represents free money for your golden years.
Understand that keeping track of your personal finances requires actual effort. It’s not enough to simply add up some things in your head. Keep track of your monthly spending by thoroughly checking all statements and receipts. You need to be on top of things if something’s not lining up right.
Unless you want to deal with a lot of financial problems going forward, you should avoid co-signing a loan for friends or family. If they need a co-signer, the odds are good that they’re not that dependable in the credit department. Their failure to pay down debt leaves you on the hook with the creditors.
Make sure you automate your payments instead of handling them manually if you really want to ensure you always know what’s going on. It’s more convenient to handle things with computers these days, and records are automatically saved and very easy for you to access and print out for safe keeping.
This article explains little things that can be done to incorporate a routine consideration of financial health. A little bit of time and attention will help improve our financial health and keep attention on the little things that we can do in managing our personal finances. Some steps take only a few minutes at a time to keep us on top of our finances.