Managing your finances, especially if you are on a limited income, isn’t always easy. However, it is vital if you are going to avoid going into debt or worse. The advice in this article can help you control your spending and help you avoid becoming a credit card debt statistic.
Check your financial assets for a down payment source. You may be able to cash out certain investment accounts and use the money without penalty, if it is for a primary residence. You may also be able to borrow against certain assets, giving you the money you need. Check with your investment professional for options.
Pack one suitcase inside of another. Almost every traveler comes home with more stuff than they left with. Whether souvenirs for friends and family or a shopping trip to take advantage of a good exchange rate, it can be difficult to get everything back home. Consider packing your belongings in a small suitcase, then put that suitcase into a larger one. This way you only pay for one bag on your trip out, and have the convenience of bringing two back when you return.
Don’t bother with store credit cards. Store cards have a bad cost/benefit calculation. If you pay on time, it won’t help your credit all that much, but if a store account goes to collections, it will impact your credit history just as much as any other default. Get a major credit card for credit repair instead.
If a credit card is close to its limit, consider transferring portions of the balance to a different card. Having a card that is almost maxed out is a huge blow to your FICO score. Transferring part of the balance will even up the credit you have available on your cards.
Make sure you have some emergency savings squirreled away. If you don’t and a major expense pops up like car repairs or medical bills, all these bills could end up on your credit card. This can put you even further in debt. It’s better to have a few months money built up to cushion these emergencies.
Find out whether the utilities are included in the rent or you have to pay them separately. If you need to pay your utilities separately do some research and find out how much the average utility bill is. Make sure you can afford the utilities and the rent together or look for public assistance programs you may qualify for.
You can avoid splurging and spending your savings if you allocate a cash allowance for yourself. Buy some food you enjoy, some new clothes but do not spend more than this small allowance on personal items. This way you can still allow yourself to enjoy little treats without destroying your monthly budget.
When in doubt about borrowing money-don’t. Interest is extremely expensive, adding up to 20% or even more to your purchases, which is the same as making 20% less money! Wherever possible try to save up for a purchase on your own, and buy it later rather than taking out a loan to get it now.
Saving even your spare change will add up. Take all the change you have and deposit it directly into a savings account. You will earn small interest, and over time you will see that start to build up. If you have kids, put it into a savings account for them, and by the time they are 18, they will have a nice amount of money.
Keeping a good handle on your finances is an essential part of your adult life. Having read these tips, you should now be more prepared to move forward on this journey with some new techniques to try. Managing your finances isn’t going to be easy, but it can be done.