During difficult economic times, intelligently managing your personal finances can mean the difference between living comfortably, and losing your home or being forced to file for bankruptcy protection. This article was written with the average person in mind. It is designed to help you improve your financial situation by teaching you to intelligently manage your personal finances.
The envelope system is a tried and true budgeting technique that can work well for those who have a hard time staying within their budget. Cash out your paycheck at each pay period and put a predetermined amount of cash into each envelope for each line on your budget. You can then only spend the cash that you have for each item. It prevents you from overspending as you have a visual for what is left.
Thrift shopping and consignment shopping have become more popular in the current economy. Try buying your clothes, home decor, and kitchen items second hand. You can save a lot of money on the things you have to buy anyway that you can then put towards your savings or retirement accounts.
Home equity loans are tempting but dangerous. If you miss a payment on a home equity loan, you could lose your home. Make sure that you can afford the monthly payments and that you have a significant emergency savings built up before taking out any loans against your home.
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.
If you work a full time job, make sure that you are setting money aside each pay period towards your retirement fund. This will be extremely important later on in life after you have put in your last hours of work. Ascertain that money is being wired into your 401k, each paycheck for a stable future.
Before one is about to buy a car, house, or any high cost item that one will have to make payments on. By looking at the payments one will have to make on their purchase before purchasing they can make an educated decision on if they can afford it reasonably. This will ensure credit stays optimal.
Remember, intelligently managing your personal finances is the key to wealth and security. In an economic downturn, being careless or foolish with your money can have grave consequences. Carefully read the tips in this article, and apply what you learn to your own personal financial situation. By doing so, you can protect yourself from financial ruin.