Finances are a part of everyone’s lives. A young child needs to learn the value of a dollar, even if it’s just from their allowance. As an adult, finances become much more complex and managing them effectively can feel overwhelming. The following article has some effective ways to take control of your finances with confidence.
When using an ATM while traveling, make sure the bank itself is open. ATMs have an annoying tendency to eat cards. If your card is eaten at a bank that is hundreds of miles from home, this can be a major inconvenience. If the bank is open, you will more likely be able to retrieve your card.
If you’re looking to improve your financial situation it may be time to move some funds around. If you constantly have extra money in the bank you might as well put it in a certificate of depressor. In this way you are earning more interest then a typical savings account using money that was just sitting idly.
You should write down every penny you spend to find where you are blowing the most money. However, if you forget to keep up with it, it is easy to put it away and let it slip your mind. This is why you should install a white board into your bedroom, kitchen, or even your office so that you can write out your expenses. Seeing this multiple times a day can help keep it fresh in your mind.
Replace older incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency CFL bulbs. Replacing your old bulbs with CFL bulbs is better for the environment, and will result in a lower electric bill. CFL blubs were specially made to last a much longer period of time than a normal bulb would. You will save money by buying bulbs that don’t need to be replaced as often.
When it comes to maintaining your financial health, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is establish an emergency fund. Having an emergency fund will help you avoid sliding into debt in the event you or your spouse loses your job, needs medical care or has to face an unexpected crisis. Setting up an emergency fund is not hard to do, but requires some discipline. Figure out what your monthly expenses are and set a goal to save 6-8 months of funds in an account you can easily access if needed. Plan to save a full 12 months of funds if you are self-employed.
A major indicator of your financial health is your FICO Score so know your score. Creditors use the FICO Scores to decide how risky it is to give you credit. Each of the three major credit bureaus, Transunion, Equifax, and Experian, assigns a score to your credit record. That score goes up and down depending on your credit usage and payment history over time. A good FICO Score makes a huge difference in the interest rates you can get when buying a home or car. Check out your score before any major purchases to make sure it is a true reflection of your credit history.
These tips will help anyone understand and shape their personal financial situation into a healthier, more productive situation. No matter whether you’re starting with five dollars in the bank or with five thousand in investments, the same principles apply, and you can use tips like these to boost yourself into a new, better way of life.