Finding time to pay your bills is hard enough these days. Finding time to go over your spending and saving habits, in order to find ways to save is even harder. It is a task that needs to be done though, and the rewards can be huge, if you find ways to drastically change your bottom line.
Roll down the windows in your car. If gas prices are getting you down, using your air conditioning system is only going to exacerbate the situation. The AC raises your fuel consumption by more than ten percent. Get yourself in the habit of just riding with the windows down, instead.
It is never too early to teach children about personal finance and savings. If they earn an allowance, have them set aside a percentage into a piggy bank or a savings account (if they’re old enough to have one). They can also do the same with money they receive for birthdays or holidays.
Keep a journal of expenses. Track every dollar you spend. This will help you figure out exactly where your money is going. This way, you can adjust your spending as needed. A journal will make you accountable to yourself for every purchase you make, as well as help you track your spending behavior over time.
To find real space in your personal finance, stop thinking about income and expenses at the same time. It is essential to track every penny of both, but if you pay attention to them simultaneously, all you end up doing is balancing your budget and not saving anything. Cap your expenses at 70% of your income and see the difference.
One of the best ways to start saving is to get an old-fashioned piggy bank. Get a big plastic one that cannot be opened. Put all your change in your piggy bank and if you find money or get money as a gift, put half of it in the piggy bank. When the piggy bank is full, cut it open. You will have a great start to a savings account.
Tackle your debt by paying down the highest-interest debts first. Typically, the highest interest rates are on credit card debt. Prioritizing the repayment of high-interest debt can save you thousands of dollars in interest charges, depending on your balances. As a bonus, putting money toward your debt is a risk-free way to “make” money, since you won’t incur future interest charges on debt that you no longer owe!
You should never take advantage of the cash advance options offered by just about every credit card issuer. By steering clear of this method of obtaining a quick infusion of cash, you can avoid the exorbitant interest rates that such features generally carry.
Using the ideas here, you can make a big difference in the amount of stress that you carry around each month. Money matters are a huge burden to most people, so taking charge and finding ways to reduce your expenses and having more money set aside for unexpected surprises, will have you sleeping better at night.