If your finances are a mess, money’s probably the last thing you want to think about. However, it’s important to start working to improve your financial state as soon as you can. This article is full of suggestions that will help you work through your money problems and develop positive habits that will last a lifetime.
Talk to different loan officers before you sign anything. Make sure to read over the lending contract very carefully to assure that you are not getting into a mortgage that has hidden charges, and that the terms of the loan are just as you and the lender had agreed to.
Improve your personal finance skills with a very useful but often overlooked tip. Make sure that you are taking about 10-13% of your paychecks and putting them aside into a savings account. This will help you out greatly during the tough economic times. Then, when an unexpected bill comes, you will have the funds to cover it and not have to borrow and pay interest fees.
When it comes to investments try to remember, stocks first and bonds later. When you are young invest in stocks, and as you get older move into bonds. It is a great long-term investment strategy to choose stocks. If the market takes a turn for the worse, you will have plenty of time left to make up what you have lost. Bonds are less risky, and better to invest in as you age.
Make the move to local banks and credit unions. Your local bank and lending institutions will have more control over how they lend money resulting in better rates on credit cards and savings accounts, which could then be reinvested in your own community. All of this, with good old-fashioned personal service!
One surefire way to keep your finances in order is to avoid racking up credit card debt. Consider the consequences in full before making any purchases on credit. Think about the length of time a particular purchase will take in order to be paid. If you cannot pay it in full in one month and it isn’t completely necessary, you ought to avoid it.
Credit card debt plays a big role with your FICO score. The bigger your card balances get, the more they’ll be able to harm your credit score. As soon as you pay down the balance, your score will start to improve. Try to make sure the balance stays around less than 20 percent of your available credit.
When you need a loan to finance your real estate buying or selling, try to work with a portfolio lender. A portfolio lender is one that will retain ownership of your loan rather than resell it to third parties. They are superior lenders because they tend to offer more flexible financing and they develop a personal relationship with you.
If you rely on credit cards to make most of your purchases, or for multiple high-dollar expenditures, consider having the balance transferred to a credit card with lower interest rates. This is especially helpful for those who plan to continue using their cards for a considerable period of time in the future.
If you are up to your knees in credit card debt, do yourself a favor and cut up and cancel all of your cards but one. The remaining card should be the one that offers the lowest rates and most favorable repayment terms. Then, rely on that card for only the most critical purchases.
Shop the dollar stores. You can often buy the same products in dollar stores for a fraction of the price you would pay in bigger department stores. Whether you are buying toothbrushes, over-the-counter medicines, cosmetics or any one of hundreds of other products there are big savings to be had in dollar stores.
Save a little money every day. Getting a burger at fast food place with your coworkers is a pretty cheap lunch, right? A hamburger is only $3.29. Well, that’s over $850 a year, not counting drinks and fries. Brown bag your lunch and get something much more delicious and healthy for less than a dollar.
Even though money can be unpleasant to think about, it’s more than worth it to work on your finances. Good money habits can have a tremendous impact on your quality of life. Keep the advice listed in this article in mind, and continue working to improve your finances.