Personal finance can be easily managed, and savings can be built up by following a strict budget. One problem is that most people live beyond their means and do not save money regularly. In addition, with surprise bills that pop up for car repair or other unexpected occurrences an emergency fund is essential.
You need to meet certain qualifications before you can rent an apartment. Be sure you have verifiable income, acceptable credit, and enough funds for the security deposit and the first month’s rent. Don’t forget that if you have less than perfect credit, the electric, gas, phone, and cable companies usually ask for a security deposit before they establish service under your name.
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.
Resist buying something just because it is on sale if what is on sale is not something that you need. Buying something that you do not really need is a waste of money, no matter how much of a discount you are able to get. So, try to resist the temptation of a big sales sign.
Set up your bank account to transfer a predetermined sum of money from your checking to your savings once a month. You will forget you even have this money or see it as a bill, just like any other expense. Your savings can add up quickly by doing this.
Balance your checkbook with a friend. Just as in all things, accountability can have its perks. You are less likely to overspend or make rash purchases you can’t really afford if you have to explain that purchase to someone else later. Make a pact with a friend to keep each other accountable and watch your savings grow.
A great tip for anyone interested in finding extra money each month to put toward existing debts is to make a habit each day of emptying your pockets or purse of change received during cash transactions. It may seem like a small thing, but you will be amazed by how much money actually accumulates over time, and you may find yourself paying down that stubborn credit card balance faster than you ever thought possible.
To save on college costs, strongly consider enrollment at a local community college for the first two years and then transfer to a four-year institution for your last two years. With annual tuition cost savings of 50% or more over traditional four-year universities, going to a community college for your first two years can make a whole lot of sense. Many community colleges have direct transfer programs to four-year institutions that ensure the relevance of the credits you have earned towards your degree. You will get the exact same diploma and credentials at the end of the four years, as your classmates who attended the four-year university straight-through, but your costs (and possible debt) will be so much less.
Make sure you have at least six months worth of savings in case of job loss, injury, disability, or illness. You can never be too prepared for any of these situations should they arise. Furthermore, keep in mind that emergency funds and savings must be contributed to regularly for them to grow.