9 Simple Personal Finance Tips
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No matter what stage of life you’re in, you can benefit from personal finance tips that are simple to put into practice. If you’re ready to start down the path towards financial freedom, try these easy to follow tips to make a positive difference in your financial future.
Unsubscribe from Marketing Emails
Each time you purchase something online, be sure to opt out of marketing emails. Companies often send out promotional emails multiple times per week, and saying no to these appealing offers is quite difficult. If you find yourself being swayed by persuasive marketing emails, spend some time cleaning out your inbox and unsubscribing from promotional emails.
Prepare Meals at Home
If you work outside the home, you probably find yourself going out for lunch several times each week. Money spent on fast food quickly adds up, and after looking through your monthly expenses, you might find that you spend several hundred dollars on eating out each month. By limiting yourself to eating out only once per week, you’ll likely be surprised by the savings that you’ll gain.
Prioritize Paying Off Debt
Becoming debt free is often a lifetime struggle, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By focusing nearly all of your extra money on paying off debt, it’s usually possible to pay off loans early and roll the extra money towards paying off other forms of debt. Prioritize the loans with the highest interest rates, and work your way to other loans once the highest interest loans are paid off.
Meet With a Financial Advisor
If you’re a little overwhelmed with managing money responsibly or you’re hoping to gain further insight into sound economic choices, meeting with a trusted financial advisor is always a step in the right direction. Whether you have lofty goals for your financial future or you’re just trying to make a plan for the next few months, an established financial advisor like Donald Gayhardt will be able to help you identify the next steps for your situation.
Many adults, both young and old, often have a difficult time tracking spending. If you’re not sure where your money goes each month, you’re almost certain to continue to make the same mistakes. Luckily, technology has made it easier than ever to keep track of your spending so you can easily pinpoint areas that need improvement. Try using an app like Mint that will link to your bank account and categorize your spending in an easy to read pie chart. Once you’ve tried tracking your spending for a month or two, it will become easy to identify problem areas and curb your spending.
Start a Savings Account
Even if you’re not able to put away the recommended 20 percent of each paycheck, starting a savings account is an absolute must. In the event of emergency, it’s an enormous help to have at least $1,000 in an emergency fund. However, it’s perfectly acceptable to start small and simply deposit a few dollars each month into a safe place that you won’t touch. After a few months or even years of slowly developing savings and working to pay off debt, try to prioritize long-term savings for the future.
Plan Your Meals
We’ve already covered that it’s important to cut down on eating out, but even grocery shopping can be a potential money pitfall. If you head to the grocery store without a plan, you’re more likely to purchase foods that will end up being wasted. To maximize every dollar that you spend at the store, sit down for a few minutes each week and plan out breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week. This way, you’ll be able to stick to a list of what you need and walk out of the store with a cart full of essentials instead of extras.
Re-Evaluate Monthly Bills
Many people believe that the first price they’re offered on monthly bills like auto insurance and Wi-Fi is the only price available. However, in most cases, there’s room for negotiation. Even if you’re on the shy side, it’s always a good idea to ask if there’s a better price available. In some cases, you might be able to save a few bucks each month simply by having the courage to ask.
Your favorite grocery store is likely to have an app or a website where you can browse available deals and find the coupons that will be helpful for you and your family. For most households, just a few minutes of coupon clipping each day is well worth the time and effort. Remember to stay focused on what you need and only clip coupons for items that are truly needed. A big downfall of couponing is that many people feel compelled to buy things that they wouldn’t ordinarily use. If you use coupons to your advantage, you might be able to save on household essentials at each trip to the store.
What are you doing to improve your personal finance situation?
Photo courtesy of: Erdenebayar
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