Be Your Own Personal Finance Manager With These Tips

Be Your Own Personal Finance Manager With These Tips

In these hard financial times, even for those of us lucky enough to be gainfully employed keeping your finances straight can be such a challenge. With the cost of everything from milk and eggs to gas rising, saving is near impossible. This article will offer some advice on personal finance.

Every household should have an emergency savings account. Every time you get a paycheck automatically put some aside for savings. This will help you if you ever find that you can not pay a bill or if you lose your job. Having the safety of an emergency savings account can ease anxiety in times of high financial stress.

Save your pennies–literally. Choose a container, such as a large jar and make it difficult to get into, so you don’t rob yourself. Drop all of your pocket change into the container, and when it’s full, treat yourself or your family to something fun. Depending on the size of your container, it could be a special day out–or an entire vacation!

Take the time to find a free checking account to avoid unnecessary expenses. Many banks now charge a monthly fee for checking accounts unless you carry a significant balance. This adds up to hundreds of dollars per year in fees that can be avoided by finding a bank or credit union offering free checking.

If you are currently paying for your checking account, it’s time to find a new one. Banks compete for your business, and so many offer free checking with amenities and services similar to those you used to have to pay for. Shop around and find one that won’t charge you on a monthly basis.

If your employer offers a 401(k) with matching funds, take the maximum deduction from your paycheck. Your company’s matching funds are like an automatic return on your money, on top of the returns from your 401(k) investment choices. Not taking full advantage of the match is like refusing free money.

If you want to have good finances, you need to think differently about how you spend your money. Many of us see money as a way of enjoying life in the now, without realizing that there is also a value in enjoying life later. If you do not learn to save your money, you will not have money when you need it when you are older.

Always openly communicate with your spouse about your financial situation. It is a proven fact that couples fight more often about money than almost any other subject. Lying to your spouse about frivolous spending, your savings plan, or past debts, can only lead to disaster. Be truthful, open, and honest, to keep your relationship in tip top shape.

If you have multiple credit cards for different retailers, place them in a zippered sandwich bag filled with water, then freeze the bag in your freezer. This helps you to resist temptation by creating a number of obstacles to an otherwise impulsive spending spree. Not only will you have to wait for the ice to thaw, but you might also end up making a mess – an excellent deterrent.

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.

Sometimes one form of a good is just as good but cheaper than another. Frozen vegetables are often a great example; frozen green beans are just as crisp and tasty as fresh green beans, and often more nutritious due to nutrient degradation after travel time, but cost half as much or less, especially during the winter.

Whenever possible, you should always make an effort to pay your credit card balance in full every month. Aside from skipping a payment altogether, the worst thing you can do for your credit is to make only the minimum payment. Over time, you will spend hundreds or even, thousands of dollars more in interest fees.

In order to properly manage your money, it is very important that you look at your bank statement on a regular basis. So many people lose out on money because they have not checked their account for any discrepancies. This can easily be avoided by just looking at your bank statement.

Even though times are tough it is still feasible to get a handle on your finances. Whether it be by investing, scrimping and saving, or by sheer manpower, it is possible. This article offered some advice on how to handle your personal finances so that these tough financial times won’t be as tough.

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