Getting your family’s financial picture under control can have life changing effects. It can help to alleviate stress, make daily living more fun, and provide long term security, too. Taking the steps to get your finances under control can be a confusing process. In this article, we will discuss some tried and true tips that can get you on the right track.
Watch those nickles and dimes. Small purchases are easy to forget about and write off, as not really making much of a difference in your budget. Those little expenses add up fast and can make a serious impact. Take a look at how much you really spend on things like coffee, snacks and impulse buys.
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.
Thrift shopping and consignment shopping have become more popular in the current economy. Try buying your clothes, home decor, and kitchen items second hand. You can save a lot of money on the things you have to buy anyway that you can then put towards your savings or retirement accounts.
Change your cell phone plan. When you sign up to an expensive monthly cell phone plan you can end up paying for talk minutes that don’t use. So, the next time your cell phone contract is due for renewal consider switching to a cheaper plan and you could save $20 a month or more.
Try to pay more than the minimum payments on your credit cards. When you only pay the minimum amount off your credit card each month it can end up taking years or even decades to clear the balance. Items that you bought using the credit card can also end up costing you over twice the purchase price.
If you and your spouse have a joint bank account and constantly argue about money, consider setting up separate bank accounts. By setting up separate bank accounts and assigning certain bills to each account, a lot of arguments can be avoided. Separate banks account also mean that you don’t have to justify any private, personal spending to your partner or spouse.
To best manage your finances, prioritize your debt. Pay off your credit cards first. Credit cards have a higher interest than almost any other type of debt, which means they build up high balances faster. Paying them down reduces your debt now, frees up credit for emergencies, and means that there will be less of a balance to collect interest over time.
Make sure you read over your credit card statement very carefully every month. Make sure there aren’t any charges that shouldn’t be on there. It helps if you keep any receipts from purchases where you used your credit card this way you can use those to verify any charges on your account.
If you have multiple credit cards, get rid of all but one. The more cards you have, the harder it is to stay on top of paying them back. Also, the more credit cards you have, the easier it is to spend more than you’re earning, getting yourself stuck in a hole of debt.
Your family should have a strong financial picture if you want to be in control of your life. Getting your finances under control has a trickle down effect on every area of your life. As we have discussed in this article, getting started can feel confusing, but it doesn’t have to. If you follow the simple steps discussed here, your financial forecast will improve and your life will, too.