If you are needing to find ways to control your finances, you are not alone. So many people today are finding that their spending has gotten out of control, their income has decreased and their debt is mind numbingly huge. If you need some ideas for transforming your personal finances, look no further.
Triple check your credit card statements the moment you arrive home. Make sure to pay special attention in looking for duplicates of any charges, extra charges you don’t recognize, or simple overcharges. If you spot any unusual charges, contact both your credit card company and the business that charged you immediately.
In order to build good credit, you should be using two to four credit cards. Only using one card at a time makes it difficult to build up a solid credit score; however, using a greater number of cards than four makes it difficult for you to efficiently manage your finances. Start by using two credit cards and if your score needs an extra boost, consider adding another.
Make sure that you are collecting all of the tax credits to which you are entitled. Look out for the following tax credits: Child Care Credit, Child Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Earned Income Credit and Hope Scholarship Credit. Visit the IRS’s website for a complete list of tax credits that you may be eligible for.
Your home and your car will almost always be your biggest purchases. Payments and interest on these things will be the thing you spend the most on every month. You may consider making extra payments to lower the amount of interest that you end up paying.
When talking to a collection agency, see if you can negotiate the payment down. These agencies bought your debt for pennies on the dollar. So, even if you can only pay them a small piece of what you originally owed, they will probably still make a profit. This is a good strategy you can use to rid yourself of older debt less expensively.
Try to pay more than the minimum payments on your credit cards. When you only pay the minimum amount off your credit card each month it can end up taking years or even decades to clear the balance. Items that you bought using the credit card can also end up costing you over twice the purchase price.
It is never too early to save for the future. Even if you have just graduated from college, starting a small monthly savings program will add up over the years. Small monthly deposits to a retirement account compound much more over 40 years than larger amounts can over 10 years, and have the additional advantage that you are used to living on less than your total income.
It is more convenient to use ATMs rather than traveler’s checks. Not only is it easier and faster to get your money this way, it is also cheaper. If you are going to use the ATM, make fewer and larger withdrawals, so that you can avoid paying numerous transaction fees.
Creating a budget is extremely important. Many people avoid it, but you will not be able to save money if you do not track your finances. Make sure to write down all income and expenses no matter how small it may seem. Small purchases can add up to a big chunk of your outgoing funds.
As you can see, there are a lot of very simple things that anyone can do to change the way their own money functions. We can all save more and spend less if we prioritize and cut back on things that aren’t necessary. If you put some of these ideas into play in your own life, you will see a better bottom line very soon.