Personal finance can be easy to manage with the use of tools, such as excel or other personal banking software. The best practice is to make sure that you pay your monthly bills at the beginning of the month. This assures that you will not forget a bill and end up with late payment fees. Managing your personal finances by utilizing a tool to keep track of what has been paid and how much yo have spent, also allows you to refer back and see past years’ finances and compare how you are doing today, compared to the past.
Choose a broker whose ethics and experience you can trust. You should, of course, investigate reviews of a broker thoroughly enough to determine whether he or she is trustworthy. Moreover, your broker needs to be capable of understanding your goals and you should be able to communicate with him or her, as needed.
Avoid using the mall to meet your entertainment needs. This often leads to spending money you don’t have and charging things that you don’t really need. Try to shop only when you have a specific item to buy and a specific amount to spend. This will help you to stay on budget.
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.
Every time you get a raise, set aside at least half of the new, after-tax increase for saving more each month. You will still enjoy a higher income and will never miss the extra money which you were never used to spending. It is even better if you set up your paycheck or checking account to transfer the money to savings automatically.
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.
To really be in control of your personal finances, you must know what your daily and monthly expenses are. Write down a list of all of your bills, including any car payments, rent or mortgage, and even your projected grocery budget. This will tell you how much money you have to spend every month, and give you a good place to start when making a household budget.
If you need a financial planner, it is better to hire one who charges a flat fee rather than commissions. Fee-based planners charge a fixed amount to advise you and invest your funds, but commission-based planners get paid when they trade for your account. This can give commission-based planners an incentive to trade your holdings excessively, increasing your costs.
Don’t let banks use your money for free. Many banks require customers to maintain a high minimum balance to avoid fees for checking or savings accounts, but pay very low or no interest on the amount. You can usually find a better deal at a credit union or an online bank.
Do not live beyond your means. If you are buying groceries and gasoline using your credit card because you have an empty checking account, you are in big trouble. Track your money, making sure that you spend less than you earn. Act immediately or you may build a tower of debt that could crash on you.
You might want to try working from home to save money. With today’s high gas prices, commuting to work can cost a lot of money. Between gas, parking and buying meals, you are going to end up spending half of your check before you even receive it.
To be sure you are on top of things, you should use a tool to keep track of what has been paid and what is still outstanding. Make sure that you either, choose a point in time to manage this or refer to it frequently, in order to verify that you have not left out any important bills that require payment during that time period.