Budgeting 101 – Understand Your Personal Finances, And Live Within Your Means
It takes a little time and effort to learn good personal finance habits. When considered next to the time and money that can be wasted through poor financial management, though, putting some work into personal finance education is a real bargain. This article gives some ideas that can help anyone manage their money better.
Spending as entertainment is a bad idea. If you charge stuff that you can’t afford, like a supercharger, body kit and coil-overs for your boring 10-year-old Honda or a top-of-the-line PC with studio-grade surround speakers and three 24 inch monitors just to spice up your video games, you are crashing straight into unmanageable debt.
To find out where your money is going record all of your spending. For at least a month, write down every single time you spend money, and what you are spending the money on. After you have done this for the month, review your spending habits and make changes as necessary.
In order to stay on top of your personal finances, make use of one of the many website and apps out there which let you record and track your spending. This means that you’ll be able to see clearly and easily where the biggest money drains are, and adjust your spending habits accordingly.
A new car depreciates dramatically as soon as you buy it and drive it off the lot, so consider buying a used car. You can get a car that is in good condition, only a few years old and still under warranty. However, by not buying it new, you will have let someone else take the depreciation and you will pay a much lower price.
A simple piece of advice that is proven time after time to save money, is to avoid buying your groceries when you’re feeling hungry! Yes. it’s true! If you head to the grocery store when you’re hungry, you’ll buy a lot more food because you’re craving it. Furthermore, always make a list, and stick to it.
Have an emergency bank account. This account should be separate from your checking and savings accounts and used only for real emergencies. This will keep you from going further into debt when you do have an emergency, particularly because people do the most spending when they feel they are in a crisis.
Rewards credit cards are a great way to get a little extra something for the stuff you buy anyways. If you use the card to pay for recurring expenses like gas and groceries, then you can rack up points for travel, dining or entertainment. Just make sure to pay this card off at the end of each month.
It has to be said that taking care of personal finances rarely becomes fun. It can, however, get extremely satisfying. When better personal finance skills pay off directly in terms of money saved, the time invested in learning the subject feels well-spent. Personal finance education can even become an unending cycle. Learning a little helps you save a little; what will happen when you learn more?