With all due respect to the importance of personal relationships, one of the most important facets of a successful life is personal finance. Making money, keeping it, and growing it makes the rest of your life easier and more enjoyable. Here are some ideas to help increase your personal bottom line.
Check your financial assets for a down payment source. You may be able to cash out certain investment accounts and use the money without penalty, if it is for a primary residence. You may also be able to borrow against certain assets, giving you the money you need. Check with your investment professional for options.
Set up a bank account for emergency funds, and do not use it for any daily expenses. An emergency fund should only be used for any unexpected expense that is out of the ordinary. Keeping your emergency fund separate from your regular account will give you the peace of mind that you will have money to use when you most need it.
Setup a realistic budget to make your personal finance goals stick. By balancing out what money is coming in versus what you have going out, you can ensure that you will not end up going into the negative and end up with late fees. This is a very easy goal to establish and will have amazing effects from the start.
To make the most of your personal finances, if you have investments, make sure to diversify them. Having investments in a variety of different companies with different strengths and weaknesses, will protect you against sudden turns in the market. This means that one investment can fail without causing you financial ruin.
Make sure to spend less money than you earn. It’s so easy to put our everyday items onto credit cards because we just can’t afford it right then but that is the start to disaster. If you can’t afford it right then, go without it until you can.
To put yourself in a better financial position, find all of the products that you have lying around the house, which you do not need. Sort these items and sell them on EBay. This online marketplace is fantastic for making a couple hundred dollars with items that you do not use anymore.
If you come across extra money, whether you got a bonus at work or won the lottery and you have debts, pay the debts first. It’s tempting to use that money to splurge on such things as, new gadgets, eating out or other luxuries, but you should avoid that temptation. You’ll do yourself more favors, if you use that money to pay your debts. If you have money left after you pay your debts, then you can splurge.
Taking a job at a store that carries many thing that are of interest to you can be a great decision. Not only will you earn a paycheck for working at that store, but will also receive an employee discount that can be used to save money on things bought there, providing two benefits to your personal finances.
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.
When it comes to paying off your loans and credit card balances, always try to pay as much over the monthly minimum as is possible. While this may decrease your amount of free cash every month, it will ultimately result in significant increases in savings over a period of many months or a year.
These tips should have given you many ideas — and a jump-start to your motivation — to make smart money decisions. Whether it’s earning, saving, investing, or even spending, you can now face the financial world with more confidence and less intimidation. Here’s to a brighter future and your increased net worth!