Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out just where all your money goes. Little purchases can add up fast, and if you’re already in bad financial shape, they can take your situation from bad to worse. That’s why it’s important to develop good personal finance habits. Keep reading to learn money advice anyone can use.
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.
Live below your means. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. This happens, because we are spending as much as we are earning or in some cases, more. You can break this cycle by leaving yourself a lot of room in your monthly budget. If you only need a smaller percentage of your income to pay your living expenses, there will be more left over to save or to pay for unexpected things that come up.
If you want to make the most of your assets, you should consider getting a rewards credit card. Depending on your lifestyle, you may be better off to get the card that offers the best cash rewards, or the largest number of airline miles. You should get the credit card that best fits your spending habits. It can return assets to you for spending money that you would spend anyway. The bottom line is always pay the balance in full every month and don’t be tempted to spend more money just to qualify for additional rewards.
Consider downsizing to only one vehicle. It is only natural that having more than one car will cause your premiums to rise, as the company is taking care of multiple vehicles. Moving to one vehicle not only will drop your insurance rates, but it may also reduce the mileage and gas money you spend.
If you are engaged to be married, consider protecting your finances and your credit with a prenup. Prenuptial agreements settle property disputes in advance, should your happily-ever-after not go so well. If you have older children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can also help confirm their right to your assets.
You should look for online websites that allow you to rent out your property for free. Craigslist is one of the most popular sites that does this. Do not place ads in your local paper because they may cost a good amount of money, and most people these days look online for rentals.
If you have multiple credit cards, get rid of all but one. The more cards you have, the harder it is to stay on top of paying them back. Also, the more credit cards you have, the easier it is to spend more than you’re earning, getting yourself stuck in a hole of debt.
If you are trying to improve your credit score, consider finding a way to transfer debt to “invisible” locations. If you can pay a delinquent account off by borrowing from a friend or family member, your credit score will only reflect that you paid it off. If you go this route, make sure to sign something with your lender that gives them the power to take you to court should you fail to pay, for extra security.
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.
Timing is very important when buying a mortgage. You don’t want to end up having to pay for two mortgages for a long period of time. If you are buying and selling at the same time, remember to focus on the selling first, that is the most important thing that needs to get done before you can buy a new house.
Many people don’t learn good personal finance habits, and bear the consequences of their lack of knowledge later on. Now that you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to take control of your finances and get them in better shape. If you develop good finance habits now, they’ll last you for the rest of your life.