Personal finance is managed effectively when good and sound advice is given as your guide.
Managing your personal finance is something each of us does differently. Yet, one is common and that is the need to be effective at it. All of us must be aware of this fact. In order to manage our finances very well, take a look at the following guidelines.
1. Do Budgeting
One of the oldest advices and yet still the most effective, Budget. Ask anyone what to do to effectively manage their finances, and chances are they will answer the same thing—budget. Making your own budget plan is a good way to track how much you are making each month and know how much is spent on your expenses. This is a solid way to plan your spending in order to save money.
2. Employ The Use Of Lists
A good way to start is to first make a list of the things you have to pay per month. Include here utility bill payments, insurance, transportation, food, and mortgage. Then see how much you have left to set aside for your savings.
3. Stick To Your Plan
With this in mind, it would be good to have an amount set aside for entertainment and leisure. In this way, you avoid splurging and overspending; knowing that you also have a budget for fun. No matter how tempting it is to spend money, control yourself and you will indeed reap the benefits later.
4. Hide Your Credit Card
That is, use it only for emergencies and the like. Use cash instead and you won’t have to worry about the interest incurred with each credit card purchase. A better idea is to use a Cash Card, this is a debit card that can be used to purchase. Sometimes, these cash cards come with rebates for each purchase or discounts on certain items.
5. Pay Off Your Debts
If you have long withstanding debts, opt for debt restructuring or consolidation. And before your decision, look into each carefully and see if it really helps you pay off your debt, or just adds to the things you need to pay for. Consolidation and restructuring have certain fees to pay for the service, so analyze and evaluate if these are for you.
6. Plan For Retirement
Have a mindset you are going to retire early so that you will be driven to plan early and fast. Pay for a retirement contribution regularly and you will never have to worry about retiring in the future.
7. Take Advantage Of Your Benefits From Employment
If your job has perks like medical and dental services, take advantage of these things, and avoid having to pay for such. If your medical benefit includes annual physical examination and check-up, take advantage of these to keep you healthy. Being sick only means having to be absent from work, not have any pay, and spend for the doctor and medicines.
8. Spend Less
Even if you are already finished drafting a budget, it would always be better to look for other ways to even lessen the amount of money you are spending every day. Simple ways to do this are to conserve water and electricity to reduce your bills and therefore add to your savings.
9. Enlist the Help of Friends
Your friends may be feeling the same money crunch that you are and what better way to get through it than with a little help from your friends? Instead of meeting out at a restaurant for dinner, why not take turns hosting at each other’s houses? Have everyone bring a separate dish and get ready to sit down to a great meal with friends! If staying in is not an option, consider meeting just for dessert or appetizers.
10. Cut Coupons
Coupons are everywhere today and there are a lot of web sites, magazines & newspapers that can help you get the most bang for your buck while visiting the grocery store. The percentage that you save off of your grocery bill can vary from store to store; your store might double coupons and that can help you save even more money.
11. Use that Cell Phone
Speaking of cutting things; do you still have a landline telephone? If you have both a landline and cell phone, consider disconnecting your landline. Some employers require that their employees have a landline but most have realized that we carry our cell phones with us all the time and landlines are really no longer a necessity. Re-evaluate your cable or satellite coverage too, do you really need over 260 channels?
12. Pay Bills on Time
It may not seem like a big deal if you are just a few days late, but companies like to tack on large late fees and this makes your bill skyrocket. If you find that you need to make a payment arrangement call your creditors; most companies will be more than happy to work with you. Work hard to pay off your credit card debt as quickly as possible.
13. Create A Budget and Stick To It
Make a goal that you would like to reach. Your goals can be as big or as small as you would like them to be. They can be anything from a new camera to a vacation. From here, plan out a budget that will bring this goal to fruition. When you have to give up that next cocktail, remember that camera or vacation and why it’s worth it!
14. Vacation Out of Season
Certain times of year are more expensive when it comes to going away. So try to go on vacation off-peak when it’s cheaper. Cheaper means you can go for longer and still save money. It’s a win-win.
15. Airport Parking
Parking at the airport is overpriced because of the convenience it brings. But in reality, finding airport parking nearby is very easy and you can save a decent chunk of cash which you can spend on tacky souvenirs instead!
16. Plan Ahead
The longer you have to plan your vacation the more you can shop around for a good deal. Get everything planned ahead and take your pick of the best deals whilst avoiding wasting money.
17. Cook at Home
This might seem like a compromise, but if you take the money you would have spent eating out and spend it on nice food to eat in you can often make a full evening of it, get more food and more variety and you’ll even save money.
18. Sign Up for Discounts
Set up a spare email address, and start hunting around for discounts. It is actually pretty easy to find various mailing lists which will regularly tell you about discounts and special offers that are available near you.
If you try to avoid going out anywhere where you don’t have a discount you will soon find you can afford to go out more often and you will also be forced to try more new things depending on what is on offer.
19. Shop for Discounts
When you go to the store, go with a list, and avoid impulse buys. When you find an item on the list note down how much it costs. By doing this you will start to get to know how much things should cost and you will soon be able to spot a bargain when one appears. By saving money on stuff you buy anyway you can spend more on the little luxuries.
20. Use Rewards Schemes
Do you know when that shop you go to regularly keeps asking you if you have a loyalty card? And you get slightly annoyed and hint that they need to back off? Well, stop doing that!
Actually loyalty schemes are one of the few examples of business models that benefit everyone and they’re a great way for you to get the things you enjoy most often for less. It might not seem like much, but if you use them regularly you’ll see the benefits in time and be glad you made the effort.
21. Look for Deals – And Buy in Advance
This is something that we all know, but that few of us actually take advantage of. Next time you’re out shopping then, be on the lookout for deals and discounts and let them inform your buying where it actually benefits you. What that doesn’t mean by the way is buying things you wouldn’t otherwise buy: it just means buying alternative brands when you can get them for less than your usual purchases.
Another tip is to take advantage of deals by buying in bulk. If you use a lot of protein shake and you notice that it’s in a penny sale (meaning you buy one, you get another for a penny), then buy four tubs at once. It might sting at the time, but if you know you are going to spend that money you might as well buy now and get it half price – your cash flow will even out over time.
22. Turn Down the Brightness on Your TV
This is a simple tip that will hardly be noticeable, but actually it can save you quite a lot of money each year if you watch a lot of TV as it will cause your set to use less energy when you’re watching.
23. Use Bubble Wrap on Your Windows
While we’re in the business of saving energy, another easy tip is to take some bubble wrap and to attach it around the edges of your window – particularly if it’s single glazing. Bubble wrap is made up of trapped air, and the air is one of the best insulators out there: which makes this especially good at keeping more warm air in your property and more cold air out. It doesn’t cost anything, and if the window is out of sight (such as a small bathroom window) then you won’t notice the look of it too often.
24. Use Cashback Sites
Cashback sites are sites that pay you for using them to do your shopping. This is possible because they sell products that they get a commission for every time you pay.
Thus they get more money the more people use them, and so it’s in their best interest to encourage you to do so. And the way they do it? By sharing that commission with you. This way you will literally get the same products, but you’ll then get up to 30% of that money back.
Trading in is another thing that few of us take advantage of enough. This is particularly useful as a way to get technology more cheaply though and can save you a lot of money in the long run.
For instance, if you want to change your mobile phone, then rather than just buying a new one outright you could take your old one back to the store and offer to sell it back to them in exchange for money off of the next purchase.
Often you will get more money back this way than you would have you just sold it and you can get even more still if you plan this in advance and so treat your device in a way that will make it likely to survive the test of time. It may pain you, but leaving the sticky back plastic on the screen could just save you a lot of cash…
Spending more money than you have is a bad thing, and saving is generally considered a good thing right? But it’s not exactly fun is it? Sometimes in life, you have to choose between living in the now and saving for your future, and it’s not always an easy decision.
Effectively managing your personal finance is a sure way to provide a more comfortable way of living for you in the future and have financial freedom as well.
Saving money doesn’t have to involve stopping the things you enjoy doing. It doesn’t have to mean eating ‘value’ brands, and it doesn’t have to mean giving up on your hobbies and activities. At its best, saving money simply means employing a few smart strategies and sometimes doing the very same things in smart ways that don’t cost as much.