From credit cards to retirement plans, knowing how to manage your money wisely is a critical life skill. From the time you get your first job and start earning a paycheck, personal financial management becomes a way of providing yourself with both current and future needs. The following article gives you a host of advice and information on the best ways to spend, save and invest your hard-earned money, no matter the size of your check.
To establish a good credit history or repair a bad one, you will want to keep your credit card balances low. You should never let your balance get anywhere near your maximum credit line. Having reasonable balances that you pay off regularly is a sign of a responsible credit user who can be trusted with debt.
Get a high yield savings account. Your rainy day funds or emergency savings should be stored in a savings account with the highest interest rate you can find. Do not use CD’s or other term savings which would penalize you for taking your money out early. These accounts need to be liquid in case you need to use them for emergencies.
If holding a garage sale or selling your things on craigslist isn’t appealing to you, consider consignment. You can consign just about anything these days. Furniture, clothes, jewelry, you name it. Contact a few stores in your area to compare their fees and services. The consignment store will take your items and sell them for you, cutting you a check for a percentage of the sale.
Pay off your items with the higher interest before focusing on the lower or no interest debt. Paying the minimums on a high interest card can cost you hundreds of dollars more than it should. List out the interest rates of all the cards you have and pay off the highest ones as soon as possible.
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.
If you decide to hire a credit repair firm to help with fixing your credit, make sure you understand what they charge. Many firms charge you by the number of disputes and deletions attempted with no guarantee of success. Try to find a credit repair firm that charges fair and has no hidden fees.
To make your savings account earn money while you sit back and watch, invest in a long term fixed rate. These accounts offer a higher, fixed interest rate for a longer period of time. Most banks offer high interest to get your money, then cut the rate after a few months. Long term fixed rate accounts will have your money making money while it is in the bank.
While it may seem at times that you just don’t have enough money to cover all of your current expenses, in addition to saving for the future, there are many ways to cut costs and improve your spending habits. By following the advice in this article, you can learn how to make every penny count so that you can provide for your needs both now and then.