Collect Yourself And Get Your Finances Under Control
Well, you’ve decided to finally get to grips your financial situation. Good for you! However, there is so much information, that you may not have a clue where to begin. Don’t worry, personal finance tips are here! Listed below are some tips that will help you get started and organized so that you can and will improve your financial situation.
When renting a home with a boyfriend or girlfriend, never rent a place that you would not be able to afford on your own. There may be circumstances like losing a job or breaking up that might leave you in the position of paying the entire rent by yourself.
Do not close credit card accounts in hopes of fixing your credit. Closing credit card accounts will not help your score, instead it will hurt your score. If the account has a balance, it will count towards your total debt balance, and show that you are making regular payments to a open credit card.
Try to pay more than the minimum payments on your credit cards. When you only pay the minimum amount off your credit card each month it can end up taking years or even decades to clear the balance. Items that you bought using the credit card can also end up costing you over twice the purchase price.
Be cautious when loaning money to your children or grandchildren and consider offering the money as a gift instead. Before you loan any money to a family member, you should think about the consequences if the money is never repaid. Remember, loans between family members often cause a lot of arguments.
To save on college costs, strongly consider enrollment at a local community college for the first two years and then transfer to a four-year institution for your last two years. With annual tuition cost savings of 50% or more over traditional four-year universities, going to a community college for your first two years can make a whole lot of sense. Many community colleges have direct transfer programs to four-year institutions that ensure the relevance of the credits you have earned towards your degree. You will get the exact same diploma and credentials at the end of the four years, as your classmates who attended the four-year university straight-through, but your costs (and possible debt) will be so much less.
If your bank charges high monthly fees just for the privilege of keeping a checking account, consider switching to a credit union. Most people are eligible for credit union membership based on where they live or work or organizations they belong to. Because credit unions are member-owned, they do not have to make profits like banks do and so they generally offer much better deals.
If feasible in your area, try getting around without a car. Between car payments, gas, insurance, and parking, the dollars spent on owning a car can really add up. It isn’t possible for everyone, but if you can try using public transportation or your own two feet to get around.
Try to avoiding using your credit card unless it is absolutely necessary. For smaller purchases, go the cash route. New legislation allows stores to require a credit card minimum of $10 for transactions. Make sure to carry cash or a debit card if you intend to make under $10 in purchases.
Keep good records of your expenses. If you aren’t keeping accurate records, it’s doubtful that you are claiming all you are allowed at tax time. It also makes your situation very difficult if an audit should happen. A digital or paper file can work just fine, so work on creating the system that works for you.
Hopefully you have at least some idea now where you should begin with improving your financial situation. It can be daunting, but multitudes of people before you have actually applied these steps and got themselves back on track. You can join them.