7 Fantastic Ideas That Will Help You Manage Your Personal Finances
Millions of people suffer under crushing debt. Sadly, most of this massive debt was accumulated over due to bad financial habits that could have been avoided. If you want to live debt free, managing your finances is a key piece that will set you on the path to success. Thankfully, there are many tools that can help. Below is a list of seven things that can help you manage your personal finances.
1. Personal Checks
These days, many people forego the use of checks altogether. Instead, they use a debit card to access the funds in their checking accounts. While this may be convenient, it can also lead to impulsive spending behaviors since sliding a card or typing in a debit card number for online purchases is so easy. One solution is to choose to use personal checks instead. It forces the spender to make more effort to make purchases. It also forces that person to take into account the dollar amount being spent and makes it easier to keep track of purchases.
2. Your Credit Report and Credit Score
If you want to get a better handle on your financial health, two things you should obtain are your credit score and credit report. To improve your finances, you will need to reverse bad habits that resulted in a poor credit score. Checking your score can help you track your progress. Also, make sure to correct any inaccuracies found on your credit report.
3. A Budget
While it may seem too obvious, most people don’t bother to actually draft out monthly and weekly budgets. Doing so can be extremely advantageous. It can make sure you are prepared for any bills you will receive ahead of time. A budget can also ensure that you don’t go overboard and spend more than you actually have. This will prevent the creation of debt and ensure that you have a little bit left over for things you may have simply bought on credit before like meals at restaurants and entertainment. Here is a great read that will help you establish your own budget.
4. Financial Apps
If you have a smartphone, there are a plethora of apps to help you better manage your finances. Such apps can alert you of upcoming bills, record your receipts, map out budgets, track investments, and help you improve your credit score and more.
5. Emergency Savings Accounts
Something that can completely wreak havoc on a person’s budget is an unexpected expense. You may need surgery suddenly and have to pay off your health insurance deductible. A bad storm may cause damage to your home that needs to be repaired. Whatever the case, you should have at least two savings accounts specifically for emergency expenses. One should be for medical expenses and the other for miscellaneous expenses like car repairs or plumbing work.
6. Debt Counseling Services
Certain people may have so many bills and so much debt that they feel trapped. They may be tempted to file for bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy can ruin your credit and result in losing most of your assets. A better choice is a debt counseling service. Such a service can help you manage your debt and negotiate with creditors to make sure paying your bills on time is feasible again.
Making purchases with cash as opposed to credit can help ensure that you don’t accrue debt. While you may need a credit card to make certain purchases and maintain a healthy credit score, try to make as many purchases as you can with cash.
Getting your personal finances back in order will not happen overnight. Baby STEPS… Baby STEPS. However, if you make an effort to improve your financial habits and better track your expenses, you are certain to get your financial house back in order much quicker.