As you go through life, getting your finances together is crucial. Even if you aren’t having a problem, it’s important to start getting things in order in case an unexpected event occurs. Here are some great ways to start getting your personal finances together so that you are prepared for anything.
When using an ATM while traveling, make sure the bank itself is open. ATMs have an annoying tendency to eat cards. If your card is eaten at a bank that is hundreds of miles from home, this can be a major inconvenience. If the bank is open, you will more likely be able to retrieve your card.
Never sell unless circumstances suggest it is wise. If you’re earning a good amount of money when it comes to a particular stock, try to sit on it for a while. You can certainly take a second look at stocks that are underperforming and think about moving some of those around.
Pay off your high interest credit cards first. Come up with a plan for how much money you can put towards your credit card debt each month. In addition to making the minimum payments on all your cards, throw the rest of your budgeted amount at the card with the highest balance. Then move on to the next highest balance and so on.
Selling scrap metal can be a rewarding way to make some extra money. The metal can be found being thrown away on trash night or if you want to try to make a business out of it, you can offer a scrap removal service and advertise your service.
If you are out of school, go ahead and get your various student loans consolidated into one account. You will be able to combine multiple loans into one fixed interest rate and you will avoid having to remember to pay multiple lenders and accounts each month. Shop around for the best interest rate before choosing a lender.
Start saving money for your children’s college education as soon as they are born. College is a very large expense, but by saving a small amount of money every month for 18 years you can spread the cost. Even if you children do not go to college the money saved can still be used towards their future.
Do not buy anything unless you really need it and can afford it. This way you will save your money for essentials and you will not wind up in debt. If you are discerning regarding what you purchase, and use cash to buy only what you need (and at the lowest possible price) you will not have to worry about being in debt.
If you are a college student, make sure that you sell your books at the end of the semester. Often, you will have a lot of students at your school in need of the books that are in your possession. Also, you can put these books online and get a large percentage of what you originally paid for them.
You should have a savings account set up in case of emergencies. Perhaps you have a specific aim in mind that you wish to save money for, such as attending college or a down payment for your own home.
If offered by your company, consider signing up for a cafeteria plan for your health care costs. These plans allow you to set aside a regular amount of money into an account specifically to use for your medical expenses. The benefit is that this money comes out of your account pretax which will lower your adjusted gross income saving you some money come tax time. You can use these benefits for copays, prescriptions, deductibles and even some over the counter medications.
If you discover an error on your credit report, your first step is to write a letter explaining this error to that credit bureau. The second step would be to contact the creditor who made the error and ask them to fix it. If you attack the problem from both ends, you are more guaranteed to see a resolution.
Use these tips to help you organize your personal finances in case of an emergency. Taking care of your finances will help you relax and feel less stressful because you know that you are prepared for any possibility. Getting your finances in shape now is the smart thing to do.