Not a lot of people want to talk about their personal finances. Its a taboo subject that has also become a bit of a sore subject in recent years and people have less and less money in their bank account. Our financial life has become one of survival instead of planning for the future. Below you will find information and suggestions on how you can have both. You can survive any economic state and still have a plan for the future.
If you feel like the marketplace is unstable, the best thing to do is to say out of it. Taking a risk with the money you worked so hard for in this economy is unnecessary. Wait until you feel like the market is more stable and you won’t be risking everything you have.
A major indicator of your financial health is your FICO Score so know your score. Creditors use the FICO Scores to decide how risky it is to give you credit. Each of the three major credit bureaus, Transunion, Equifax, and Experian, assigns a score to your credit record. That score goes up and down depending on your credit usage and payment history over time. A good FICO Score makes a huge difference in the interest rates you can get when buying a home or car. Check out your score before any major purchases to make sure it is a true reflection of your credit history.
Sign up as many of your bills for automatic payment as possible. This saves you a considerable amount of time. While you should still review your monthly activity, this will go much faster by checking your bank account online than by reviewing a checkbook ledger or your bills themselves. The extra time you get from automatic bill payment can be invested profitably in many other areas.
If you want to keep your credit score as high as possible, you should have between two and four credit cards in active use. Having at least two cards helps you establish a clear payment history, and if you’ve been paying them off it raises your score. Holding more than four cards at a time, however, makes it look like you’re trying to carry too much debt, and hurts your score.
Always pay more than the minimum. When paying down debt, it’s tempting to just make your minimum payments, but each month more interest is charged on the remaining balance, making it seem like you can never make any headway. Even if it’s just $10, pay a little bit more and slow down interest accruals to get that bill finally paid off.
When it comes to paying off your loans and credit card balances, always try to pay as much over the monthly minimum as is possible. While this may decrease your amount of free cash every month, it will ultimately result in significant increases in savings over a period of many months or a year.
Start saving for emergencies. Budget your expenses so you will have money left over to pay for any emergencies that may arise. This will help cut out the chance that you may have to use a credit card in case of an emergency and will save you finance charges and interest.
If you can easily complete a home improvement task yourself, why hire a professional? You can sit in on a class at a home improvement store or check out online tutorials that give you a step-by-step breakdown.
Have a yard sale and use the money that you made to make an investment! This will help you get rid of old junk that you have been holding onto! Who knows you may have a treasure stored away in your attic and hit a windfall and then you will really have some money to invest!
If you’re a responsible credit card holder who always pays balances on time and in full, it is a good idea to consider rewards credit cards. There are tons of different rewards that are available, so you should be able to find one that appeals to you. By doing this, you’ll be able to make a bit of money off purchases you normally make anyway.
Your future is your own. Only you can make the choices you need to in order to secure a good financial picture for yourself. The suggestions that were outlined here are a way for you to gain control and do the hard work necessary to make tomorrow a little financially brighter.