With all due respect to the importance of personal relationships, one of the most important facets of a successful life is personal finance. Making money, keeping it, and growing it makes the rest of your life easier and more enjoyable. Here are some ideas to help increase your personal bottom line.
Minimize your credit card accounts to just one account. Having more than one card can lead to difficulties in managing your monthly payments. Typically most people spend on cards that are available and with multiples you run the risk of outstripping your ability to cover all the payments necessary to maintain your due dates.
Make sure that you are collecting all of the tax credits to which you are entitled. Look out for the following tax credits: Child Care Credit, Child Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Earned Income Credit and Hope Scholarship Credit. Visit the IRS’s website for a complete list of tax credits that you may be eligible for.
Do not take on more debt than you can actually handle. Just because you qualify for the loan for the top of the line model of the car you want doesn’t mean you should take it. Try to keep your debts low and reasonable. An ability to get a loan doesn’t mean you’ll have the ability to pay it.
Try using cash to pay for all of your purchases next week. When you buy goods with cash instead of plastic credits cards, it is easier to see exactly how much money you are parting with. Also, if you don’t have a credit card on your person you can avoid impulse buys.
To improve your personal finance habits, make your budgets simple as well as personal. Instead of creating general categories, stick closely to your own individual spending habits and weekly expenses. A detailed and specific account will allow you to closely keep track of how and where you spend your income.
If you work or go to school full time, try to bring lunch every day. Making a sandwich will save you 6 to 8 dollars on the food that you would buy if you went out to eat at lunch. Bring your lunch to work or school every day to avoid extra spending.
Attempting to stay as healthy as possible and curing any minor sicknesses at home will prevent one from making trips to the hospital that are not necessary. These trips that are avoided will save one large amounts out of their personal finances. Any trip that is avoided will surely save one money.
Stay away from white or beige colored fluffy carpets when you rent. They may be stylish and nice to look at during the first few months, but it is almost impossible to clean them perfectly. At the end of the lease period it will look much worse than it looked when you rented the place, which may cause you to lose some or all of your security deposit.
Do not pick products just because they are expensive. It’s easy to get fooled into the idea that the more expensive the product the higher your commissions will be. The premise is accurate but in reality you can make a lot more from a more mid-range product due to the volume of sales you can receive.
Use an online digital calendar to track your personal finances. You can make note of when you need to pay bills, do taxes, check your credit score, and many other important financial matters. The calendar can be set to send you email alerts, in order to remind you of when you need to take action.
Save a little money every day. Getting a burger at fast food place with your coworkers is a pretty cheap lunch, right? A hamburger is only $3.29. Well, that’s over $850 a year, not counting drinks and fries. Brown bag your lunch and get something much more delicious and healthy for less than a dollar.
These tips should have given you many ideas — and a jump-start to your motivation — to make smart money decisions. Whether it’s earning, saving, investing, or even spending, you can now face the financial world with more confidence and less intimidation. Here’s to a brighter future and your increased net worth!