Getting your personal finances in order and keeping them that way is an important skill – perhaps a more important one now than ever. Between the high-powered financial options anyone can take advantage of and the time-saving shortcuts anyone can abuse, it is all too easy to lose control of your money. Here are some basic tips about hanging on to your personal financial reins.
Monitor your accounts for signs of identity theft. Purchases you don’t remember making or credit cards showing up that you don’t remember signing up for, could all be signs that someone is using your information. If there is any suspicious activity, make sure to report it to your bank for investigation.
Hiring a credit repair company can help you with some of the legwork involved in cleaning up your credit report, but beware of shady companies that make false or misleading claims. These companies may allege that you can start fresh with a clean credit report by using an Employee Identification number (EIN) rather than your Social Security number. However, they neglect to tell you that requesting an EIN from the IRS for this reason is a federal crime.
Every dollar counts, and you should find all of the coins in your home and put them in the bank. Search all of your couch cushions and pockets of your jeans, to find extra quarters, dimes, and nickels that you can cash in. This money is better served earning interest than lying around the house.
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.
Talking to a business professor or other teacher who specializes in money or some financial aspect can give one helpful advice and insight into one’s personal finances. This casual conversation can also be more relaxed for one to learn in than a classroom and is more personable than looking on the internet.
Investing in precious metals such as gold and silver can be a safe way to earn money as there will always be a demand for such materials. Also it enables one to have their money in a tangible form opposed to invested in a companies stocks. One usually won’t go wrong if they invest some of their personal finance in gold or silver.
Going to stores that are about to go out of business or be turned into a different store, can often produce items that can be bought at a greatly discounted price. Getting items you need or can resell at a higher price can both benefit your personal finances.
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.
Make a budget and stick to it. Write it down with a pen and paper and make sure you are specific about how you plan on your money to be spent. Review your budget often to see if there are any changes that need to be made. This will help you get organized and save money.
Be sure to include tax planning in your household budget. Typically, the more money you make, the more taxes that you are required to pay. It is usually best to consult an accountant to see what tax breaks you can take advantage of to minimize the impact on your budget.
Investing in the stock market can be a great way to watch your money grow. The higher the risk you take when investing, the higher the payoff usually is. It can be very emotional to watch the ebb and flow of your invested money, so make sure to do plenty of research on the risk, as well as, the reward that comes with investing in stocks.
Gaining control of your finances is not just economically prudent. It can be a source of great personal satisfaction and even pride. Using methods like those outlined above, you can keep a tight leash on your personal finances and bring your money to heel. Personal finance is all about making your money behave the way you want it to.