You owe it to yourself to become knowledgeable about your personal finances. You work hard for your money and spend a lot of time doing so. You can use the knowledge you have about your finances to help you reach whatever financial goal you have set out to achieve for yourself.
A great way to keep on top of your personal finance, is to set up a direct debit to be taken out of your paycheck each month. This means you’ll save without having to make the effort of putting money aside and you will be used to a slightly lower monthly budget. You won’t face the difficult choice of whether to spend the money in your account or save it.
If you are currently paying for your checking account, it’s time to find a new one. Banks compete for your business, and so many offer free checking with amenities and services similar to those you used to have to pay for. Shop around and find one that won’t charge you on a monthly basis.
If holding a garage sale or selling your things on craigslist isn’t appealing to you, consider consignment. You can consign just about anything these days. Furniture, clothes, jewelry, you name it. Contact a few stores in your area to compare their fees and services. The consignment store will take your items and sell them for you, cutting you a check for a percentage of the sale.
Find out what your credit score is. It will cost you money to get your credit score from the big three agencies but the knowledge is invaluable. Knowing your credit score will save you money in buying a car, refinancing your home, even buying life insurance. Make sure to get a new one on a yearly basis to stay up to date.
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.
Take a snapshot of your spending habits. Keep a journal of absolutely everything that you purchase for at least a month. Every dime must be accounted for in the journal in order to be able to truly see where your money is going. After the month is over, review and see where changes can be made.
Always mail your payment for your power bill so that it arrives by the due date. If you don’t make timely payments, it can have a detrimental effect on your credit. Most utility companies will even charge late fees, which cost you that much more money. Making late payment serves no benefit to you, so you should really try to pay them on time.
Each day, there are companies targeting consumers with poor credit histories with promises that they can clean up a credit report so that consumers may purchase a new car or secure a home mortgage loan. Of course, you must pay a fee for this service. Unfortunately, these companies cannot make good on these promises. The truth is, no one can erase accurate negative data from your credit report. After handing over your money to these unethical companies, you are still left with the same negative credit history.
Knowledge is power when it comes to personal finances. The more you know about money, the more likely you are to make good, sound financial decisions that will affect everything you do. Knowing about your money is a wise decision, it will help you now and in the future.