Economic times are hard, and you’re not alone if you’re feeling the effects of the economy on your personal pocketbook. While financial problems can be devastating and worrying, they are not permanent. Below are tips to help guide you on personal financing so you can get out of debt and/or start planning for the future.
Stay away from payday loans. They are huge scams and will charge extremely high interest rates. Payday loans are often illegal and can cause hardships in your finances. In the case an emergency arises and decide to take out a payday loan, be aware of the high rates of interest they charge.
Home equity loans are tempting but dangerous. If you miss a payment on a home equity loan, you could lose your home. Make sure that you can afford the monthly payments and that you have a significant emergency savings built up before taking out any loans against your home.
To make sure that bills don’t slip through the cracks and go unpaid, have a filing system set up that lets you keep track of all your bills and when they are due. If you pay most of your bills online, be sure that you use a service that will send you reminders when a due date is approaching.
If you are having trouble with money, apply for a credit card at your local bank. Credit cards are very valuable as they allow you additional time to pay back the money that you owe and can go a long way in establishing a firm credit score for benefits in the future.
Re-check your tax withholding allowances every year. There are many change of life events that can effect these. Some examples are getting married, getting divorced, or having children. By checking them yearly you will make sure you’re declaring correctly so that too much or too little money is not withheld from your paychecks.
Get into a real savings habit. The hardest thing about savings is forming the habit of setting aside money — of paying yourself first. Rather than berate yourself each month when you use up all your funds, be sneaky and set up an automatic deduction from your main bank account into a savings account. Set it up so that you never even see the transaction happening, and before you know it, you’ll have the savings you need safely stashed away.
Jump start your saving efforts by immediately setting aside even the smallest amount possible and depositing it in a piggy bank, jar, or coffee can. Resist the urge to constantly count your savings as it may lead to discouragement in the earliest days. The trick is simply to make regular contributions and eliminate withdrawals.
It is always a good idea to make sure not to spend more money than you earn. Those that overspend their earnings will never build a savings or find financial comfort. Calculate the amount that you bring home, and design a budget that spends less than your total take-home pay.
If finances are a bit tight now is the perfect time to start doing side jobs left and right. If you can make twenty bucks here and fifty bucks there do not hesitate. Whenever there is an offer for work on the table take it, and you never know what doors it may open.
Don’t let the economy get you down! Fight back by having a plan for your personal finances, debts, and future endeavors. The tips above will help you on your personal journey to a good financial situation. Once you are set up with a financial plan for the present, start planning for the future to avoid the stress of last minutes scrambling to pay debts.