What type of relationship do you have with your money? If you’re like most people, you have a love-hate relationship. Your money is never there when you need it, and you probably hate that you depend so much on it. Don’t continue to have an abusive relationship with your money and instead, learn what to do to ensure that your money works for you, instead of the other way around!
Sometimes it can feel like you’ve dug yourself a hole too deep, just remember that you can always find a way out of debt or bad credit. Start by not going out so much and reduce the amount you spend on leisure activities a week, then pay your bills on time. Your goal is to repair your credit and the only way you can begin to do that is to be responsible.
When it comes to investments try to remember, stocks first and bonds later. When you are young invest in stocks, and as you get older move into bonds. It is a great long-term investment strategy to choose stocks. If the market takes a turn for the worse, you will have plenty of time left to make up what you have lost. Bonds are less risky, and better to invest in as you age.
Always buy used cars over new and save yourself money. The biggest depreciation in car value happens during the first 10,000 miles it is driven. After that the depreciation becomes much slower. Buy a car that has those first miles on it to get a much better deal for just as good a car.
Make sure that you set goals so that you can have a benchmark to reach every week, month and year. This will allow you to form the discipline that is needed for quality investing and successful financial management. If you hit your goals, set them higher in the next timeframe that you choose.
If the whole family wants an expensive item, then ask each member to contribute to buying it because this will show kids the value of money and make them appreciate what they have. If the item provides a benefit to the family then get everyone to put their money together to help reduce the cost to you.
If offered by your company, consider signing up for a cafeteria plan for your health care costs. These plans allow you to set aside a regular amount of money into an account specifically to use for your medical expenses. The benefit is that this money comes out of your account pretax which will lower your adjusted gross income saving you some money come tax time. You can use these benefits for copays, prescriptions, deductibles and even some over the counter medications.
Check your credit at least yearly. The government provides free credit reports for its citizens every year. You can also get a free credit report if you are declined credit. Keeping track of your credit will allow you to see if there are incorrect debts or if someone has stolen your identity.
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.
After reading this article, your attitude towards your money should be much improved. By changing some of the ways you behave financially, you can completely change your situation. Instead of wondering where your money goes after each paycheck, you should know exactly where it is, because YOU put it there.