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.
Ask your accountant or other tax professional about deductions and tax credits you qualify for when doing remodeling on your home. Some things might bright you a bigger return while others won’t yield you any tax savings at all. Sometimes something as simple as the appliances you choose, can get you another tax credit.
If you have determined that your budget for a home mortgage is larger than your current rent payment, start putting that difference away each month. This will give you a real-world idea of what that cost does to your living expenses. It also helps you build up savings towards your down payment.
The stock market is in a dangerous state right now, so don’t take any big investment risks unless you’re willing to lose a lot of money. Any investment might seem like a good idea at first, but there are a lot of factors that affect stock prices and unless you’re an expert, you won’t see them coming.
Stick to your goals. When you see the money start pouring in, or the money flying away, it can be hard to stay the course and stick with what you originally planned. Before making changes, keep in mind what you really want and what you can really afford; and you’ll save yourself money.
Keep your checkbook balanced. It’s really not so hard and can save you the expense and embarrassment of bounced checks and overdrawn fees. Do not just call the bank for a balance and count on having that amount in your account. Some debits and checks may not have cleared yet, resulting in overdrafts when they hit the bank.
Try using free checking accounts. Certain institutions, like online banks or credit unions, provide free accounts.
Try to refrain from keeping a lot of money in your checking account. Typically, you will not need to have more than a thousand dollars to pay your bills and expenses. Instead, invest your money so that you can build on the money that you already have in your account.
Some banks offer great rewards if you are able to refer a customer to their location and they open up an account at a branch. Try to take advantage of this opportunity, as you can add anywhere between 25-100 dollars just for recommending a friend or family member to the bank.
One piece of advice that you should follow so that you are always in a safe position is to establish an emergency account. If you are ever fired from your job or faced hard times, you will want to have an account that you can resort to for additional income.
If you want to keep your credit score as high as possible, you should have between two and four credit cards in active use. Having at least two cards helps you establish a clear payment history, and if you’ve been paying them off it raises your score. Holding more than four cards at a time, however, makes it look like you’re trying to carry too much debt, and hurts your score.
If you cannot avoid eating out because of your schedule then the best way to save money is to choose from the dollar menu. You can get two chicken sandwiches and a soda for three bucks sometimes. This is better than its six dollar alternative on the combo menu, and saves you money.
If you’re trying to improve your personal budget, one easy way to get yourself in the mindset is to get your paycheck put directly into a savings account rather than checking or cash. This will help get you in the habit of saving money and not thinking of it all as disposable income.
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.