It’s been said that “money makes the world go round” but a lack of money can bring your life to a standstill. Whether your finances are in bad shape or you want to make smart decisions in the future, you should strive to develop good money habits now. Read on for some great suggestions.
Avoid thinking that you cannot afford to save up for an emergency fund because you barely have enough to meet daily expenses. The truth is that you cannot afford not to have one. An emergency fund can save you if you ever lose your current source of income. Even saving a little every month for emergencies can add up to a helpful amount when you need it.
If you don’t already have one, open an IRA. You can contribute catch-up funds anytime throughout the year to get your maximum interest. This is also tax deductible. So, if you need to find a few more ways to raise those deduction amounts, it’s better to pay yourself, than uncle Sam.
To help you keep better track of your money, be sure to categorize all of your expenses. Have one category for fixed expenses like the mortgage payment, another for variable expenses like the phone bill and credit card payments, and a third for things like shopping trips or meals out.
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.
Find out what your credit score is. It will cost you money to get your credit score from the big three agencies but the knowledge is invaluable. Knowing your credit score will save you money in buying a car, refinancing your home, even buying life insurance. Make sure to get a new one on a yearly basis to stay up to date.
If you want to save money, then look hard at your current spending patterns. It is easy to theoretically “wish” you could save money, but actually doing it requires some self-discipline and a little detective work. For one month, write down all of your expenses in a notebook. Commit to writing down everything, such as, morning coffee, taxi fare or pizza delivery for the kids. The more accurate and specific you are, then the better understanding you will get for where your money is really going. Knowledge is power! Scrutinize your log at the end of the month to find the areas you can cut back on and bank the savings. Small changes add up to big dollars over time, but you have to make the effort.
Money affects many aspects of our lives. When you’re in poor financial shape, it can feel as though you’re trapped. However, if you spend and save wisely, you’ll be able to work through money problems and come out ahead. Be sure to use the advice in this article so that you can keep your finances in excellent condition.